Fitch Street Plaza could be powering homes

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Welland’s Fitch Street Plaza could be generating enough renewable energy to power 48 homes annually.

Toronto-based Icarus Power Generation Inc. will be applying to the province to go forward with a 400-kilowatt rooftop solar power generation project at the plaza at 180-200 Fitch St.

According to the company, the project will provide revenue to the mall owner for the next two decades, through a negotiated lease, and eliminate its need for roof maintenance, thereby allowing more money for property upkeep.

The project would also provide an education opportunity for nearby schools, the company says.

It has the full backing of the municipality.

Icarus’s government relations officer, James Calnan, appeared before city council Tuesday to give the company’s backing to a blanket resolution subsequently endorsed by councillors that supports all Welland ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects that would qualify for Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff Program, for a period expiring Sept. 30, 2016.

The resolution helps to promote Welland as a place to invest in renewable energy, and reduces staff time on a “redundant approval process” by automatically providing support for both public and private solar FIT projects. FIT applicants require support of the municipalities in which they will be located.

Other renewable energy projects, such as wind and thermal, would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Calnan said the province is expected top open a new FIT application window this September, at which time the Fitch Street Plaza project will be put forward for an Independent Electricity System Operator contract — the renewable energy procurement program.

The president of Icarus, Gus Kokkoros, is a founder of the Canadian Renewable Energy Academy. His company has developed more than 300 energy projects in Canada and Europe since 2005.

The Fitch St. project would see 2,000 solar modules installed on 70% of the plaza’s roof surface. It should not be visible from the ground.

Read the article on the www.wellandtribune.ca

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