Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Solar & Conservation Fair on the Lakeshore

On a sunny Saturday, September 11 the Etobicoke Lakeshore community welcomed a group of solar aficionados into their neighbourhood. Wakulat | Law teamed up with the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-Operative, Toronto Hydro, JobStart and the Lakeshore Joint BIA Committee to set up a series of solar 101 seminars and a solar developer exhibition at the beautiful Assembly Hall. Over 120 residents and business owners dropped by the free event to listen to industry experts explain how they could take advantage of Ontario's Feed-in-Tariff programs in order to turn themselves into generators of clean, green energy.

A video by Ania Kohinski of the CUSW provides a quick overview of the day's events and programming:

Ken Traynor, Project Manager of the OurPower  program, described the basics of putting up a solar PV installation on a residential roof (click here for presentation). He was accompanied by John Scheffer, Chair of the Lakeshore Village BIA, and newly minted microFIT (<10kW) generator who provided the perspective of someone who has successfully completed a solar PV rooftop project. These gentlemen were greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm as the crowd in their first seminar was standing-room only.  In order to meet the demand of curious residents two residential seminars were held at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.

While residents were peppering their presenters with questions, another group of intrepid solar enthusiasts sought to give the commercial perspective to people representing commercial properties interested in FIT projects (>10 kW).  Travis Allan of Zizzo Allan Climate Law LLP graciously chaired a panel addressing the following topics (click on presenter's name to see presentation):
While the more studious attendees spent time in the seminars, other fair participants were able to quiz one of the many solar developer exhibitors on system costs, design, technology and timelines. They could also check on their insurance options with the irrepressible Jen Aitchison from Jones Brown Insurance; talk to Toronto Hydro about conservation programs; ask Stephen Clow from JobStart how to find green jobs; learn more about community power from the OSEA team; relax with the sublime organic chocolate samples from ChocoSol's serene Ilian Balicki or sample a solar-cooked stir fry.

Attendees heard about a positive opportunity to go solar, but were also cautioned to be move methodically through the development of any size solar PV installation.  For commercial property owners interested in more information, it may be helpful to review the Rooftop Solar Study commissioned one year ago by Partners in Project Green.  Rob was a co-author along with Zizzo Allan Climate Law LLP and University of Toronto doctoral candidate Dave Bristow.

The report studies barriers to implementing rooftop solar in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone surrounding Toronto’s Pearson Airport. The study was published by the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority in May 2010.

Wakulat | Law would like to thank the following people and organizations for making this event possible:
  • Sponsors: Toronto Hydro, TREC, JobStart and World's Greenest Business Cards.
  • Hosts:  Lakeshore BIA communities
  • Promoters:  CUSW, OSEA, SNAP Etobicoke, Etobicoke Guardian, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, greenTbiz, Franke James (and her Green Conscience)
  • Volunteers:  A dedicated group of young green volunteers interested in promoting a sustainable city and supporting the goals of Wakulat | Law.

1 comment:

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