Questions for Solar Rooftop Development
The Ontario solar rooftop market is a busy place. The FIT program has resulted in a flood of new “solar companies” seeking to lease your rooftop. As you examine the options available for your business, here are some key questions that you should be asking.
What type of roof works for solar?
Not every roof is solar ready. The ideal roof is flat with little or no obvious shading. Roof condition should be good to very good and roof repairs or replacements should be planned prior to installation. In Ontario, flat commercial roofs with greater than 40,000 square feet of useable area are most desirable.
What if my roof requires extensive repairs or replacement?
Depending on the size and suitability of the roof and building, EDF EN can work with you to facilitate up-front payments. In this way, required roof repairs can be implemented with little or no cost to you. In all cases, EDF EN works closely with your existing roofing contractor to ensure that your roof condition and warranty are maintained.
What type of system will you install?
EDF EN is not constrained by proprietary designs or the need to “push product”. As one of the world’s largest purchasers of solar components, we leverage our purchasing power and design expertise to install the optimal system for your roof. Depending on load capacities and roof type, we have ballasted and penetrating rack designs which maximize output and ensure no impacts on your roof.
What happens if I sell the building?
The lease contract will be transferred to the new owners. In addition, the lease revenue from the solar PV installation may significantly increase your property’s value.
Are there any other benefits for the building owner?
NAIOP surveys consistently show that environmental considerations play a role in major tenancy decisions. Tenants, their employees and their customers increasingly look for evidence of progressive environmental thinking. A roof-top solar installation demonstrates a leading-edge commitment to the environment and is a valuable marketing asset for your business or real estate portfolio. A roof-top solar installation can also help a building acquire LEED points.
Who will maintain the system?
EDF EN has a long history as the leading North American O&M provider to the renewable energy market. We’ll maintain the systems in optimal operating condition for the life of the contract. It’s our business!
How much revenue can I expect?
Call us today at 416-363-7959. We’ll talk to you about your site and provide you with a competitive estimate.
What is the cost to you?
The right answer is Zero. Regardless of what you do below the roof deck – be it manufacturing or property management – the best way to reap the rewards of a FIT contract is thorough a third-party lease, allowing you to deploy capital to your core business.
Why shouldn’t I do this myself?
Turn-key providers are in business to sell products. The financial projections they provide seldom account for real-world production challenges and a comprehensive list of development costs.
What is the experience of the solar partner?
Solar development in Ontario is brand new. The challenges are significant and while confidence is good, experience is what counts. Ask how long they’ve been in the business and what experience they have bringing projects to completion. If the project never gets built, you’ll never get paid.
What is their financial strength?
Solar projects are significant financial investments. Debt is much more difficult to obtain than many start-up developers believe. Does your partner have the resources to finance the project? Be sure they can demonstrate their financial capabilities.
Who will ultimately own the project?
Most developers in the Ontario market are looking to sell project assets and reap an immediate return. At the end of the development cycle, they’ll look for an entity to purchase the completed project so they can exit. You should make sure that the company you sign with is a long-term owner committed to being there with you throughout the life of the contract. Ask about their history of project ownership. The company should also have demonstrated expertise in operating and maintaining the solar installation.
Questions for Solar Ground-Mount Development
Ontario has witnessed tremendous growth of ground mount solar installations since 2009. This activity has accelerated with the FIT program, which creates more onerous development challenges on companies interested in investing in ground-mount solar. As you examine the land transaction options available for your farm, recreation property of land parcel, here are some key questions that you should be asking.
Why is my property suitable for development?
A number of factors make a property suitable for solar development. Among the more important factors are:
- Proximity to a grid connection point (within one to two kilometres of a 44 kV or 27.6 kV distribution line)
- Minimal environmental attributes such as wetlands, forests, creeks, etc.
- Plot space of at least 100 acres, boxed and (if possible) south facing
What is the period of time between signing of a lease and actual project construction?
After execution of land control, EENC submits an application to the Ontario Power Authority to apply for a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract. When a contract is awarded, it is expected to take a period of between two to three years to complete the permitting and construction activities. A contract may be awarded in the months to years following the application, but there is no guarantee it will be obtained.
How much noise does ground mount solar plant emit?
Solar power plants must adhere to noise limits set by the Ministry of the Environment. The noise propagating from the facility must be no more than 40 dB from 7 PM to 7 AM, and no more than 45 dB from 7 AM to 7 PM, measured at the nearest receptor.
How can my community benefit from a solar project?
A single 10 MW solar project can provide energy for up to 3,500 homes at peak production. The construction window can last for up to six months, and employ hundreds of trades and construction staff, which directly benefit the local economy. Post-construction, a facility employs maintenance staff on a full-time basis. Some contracted work is also anticipated from time to time, which may benefit local individuals and companies. Once operational, the facility also pays significantly higher property taxes to the municipality, which can be used to invest in the local community.
Questions About EDF EN Canada
Why choose EDF EN Canada to develop a project on my land/building/property?
There are three main factors that set us apart from most of our competition:
- EDF EN Canada is part of a global renewable energy business, EDF Energies Nouvelles, which operates in 13 countries spanning multiple continents. We are part-owned by Electricité de France, the world’s largest electric utility. EDF EN is well financed and has a proven track record. Our clients understand that EDF EN Canada is a committed, long-term player in the market.
- EDF EN Canada has experience developing, building and operating solar power plants right here in Ontario. Our first two projects, located outside of Arnprior Ontario and comprising about 200 acres of land, were completed in 2009. EDF EN Canada completed three additional ground-mount projects in 2010, and we will build a sixth project in 2011. Each of the six projects is situated on roughly 100 acres of land and will provide about 10 MW of power to the grid during daily operations. No other developer in Ontario has developed, owned and operated solar plants in three different counties of Ontario. No other developer in Ontario has such an extensive, diversified and Canadian renewable energy portfolio.
- EDF EN Canada builds the projects that it has contracted. At the end of 2011, every project for which EDF EN Canada was awarded a RESOP contract will have been realized – from origination to development, construction and financing, through to operation.