Dr. David Suzuki Public School Powers Up with Solar Technology

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada

Five hundred Dr. David Suzuki Public School students are going back to school this fall in a facility powered in part by solar photovoltaic technology developed by Canadian-based solar integrator, Carmanah Technologies. The Greater Essex County District School Board of Windsor, Ontario, is receiving a 32 kW grid-tied Photovoltaic system with funding provided by the Government of Ontario Green Schools Initiative.

The new 58,000 square foot Public School in Windsor, Ontario, named after internationally renowned environmentalist, Dr. David Suzuki, will serve as both a learning tool for students as well as a standing demonstration of environmental design for the architectural and engineering community. The addition of the grid-tied solar PV system, valued at approximately $400,000 (CDN), will support the school’s goal of obtaining LEED Platinum certification, the nation’s highest level of certification for green building design. Dr. David Suzuki Public School would be the first school in Canada to receive the environmental accreditation.

Expected to generate 32 kW of clean, renewable energy; the new roof-top mounted grid-tie solar photovoltaic system is a functional power source, meeting approximately 10 per cent of the School’s electrical needs. According to Carmanah CEO, Ted Lattimore, the system will contribute to the spirit of environmental stewardship that the Dr. David Suzuki Public School aspires to embody.

“The 32 kW panels are affixed to the roof, but the design also extends the system downwards to form a canopy over the main entry of the building. This serves as a symbol to visitors and students of the Public School’s commitment to environmental building design. At the same time, the panel’s placement optimizes the system’s performance with increased solar exposure.”

By including sustainable technology early in the building design process, the Greater Essex County District School Board hopes to incorporate the new technologies in both student academia and culture; providing information kiosks throughout the building and a website that will inform students and guests about the energy and environmental technologies being employed.

“We believe it is important to teach children about alternative energy sources as well as energy conservation,” stated Giuliana Hinchliffe, Coordinator of Engineering, Facility Services Department, Greater Essex County District School Board. “We wanted to create a building that inspires and teaches the spirit of earth stewardship, which we feel the School embodies.”

A first for a public school in Canada, the solar integration will propel the School’s eligibility for platinum-level certification in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design); a green building rating system for design and construction practices managed by the Canadian Green Building Council.

“To help reach our target of LEED Platinum designation, which includes a renewable energy component as part of the rating system, the decision was made to include solar renewable energy as part of the Dr. David Suzuki Public School.” Hinchliffe continues, “The platinum-level distinction is not only a first for a Canadian public school, it is also the highest level of green building certification available.”

Slated for installation in the spring of 2010, the grid-tie solar photovoltaic system from Carmanah is expected to begin providing power to the Dr. David Suzuki Public School’s 25 classrooms in time for students to return to school in September.

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Carmanah Technologies Corporation Jan. 20 press releaseAbout Carmanah Technologies Corporation: As Canada’s largest and most successful name in commercial photovoltaic projects, Carmanah has designed and installed more grid-tied solar power systems than any other integrator or EPC contractor in Canada. Working directly with more than a dozen Ontario LDCs, including Hydro One, Whitby Hydro, Enersource, Powerstream, Toronto Hydro, Ottawa Hydro, and Enwin (Windsor), Carmanah has been entrusted with providing grid-tied solar PV systems for the City of Toronto Police Services and the Toronto Parking Authority facility under funding by the Ontario Government Feed In Tariff (FIT) Program. Carmanah is a publicly traded company, with common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CMH”. For more information, visit carmanah.com.

About Greater Essex County District School Board: The Greater Essex County District School Board, in partnership with the community, provides learning opportunities which support, challenge, and inspire all students to achieve their full potential and enable them to participate meaningfully in their communities. With support from the Government of Ontario, the Greater Essex County District School Board of Windsor, Ontario, has upgraded many existing school facilities and opened four new elementary schools, as well as currently being in the design/construction phase of two additional elementary schools and one secondary school.

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