As the largest school board in Canada and fourth largest school board in North America, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) faces a lot of challenges. Two of those challenges are aging infrastructure and a tight budget. This week, TDSB made an announcement that could provide some relief to those challenges.
The TDSB reached an agreement with AMP Solar, a solar energy company, to have the aging roofs of around 450 schools repaired and fitted with solar panels. The project will cover 24 million square feet of roofing. AMP Solar will cover the costs of the renovation and installation and TDSB will pay back the cost of the repairs via the solar energy it provides. Once the cost of the roof repairs has been recovered, the TDSB will also have a new source of income — 14.5% of the energy revenue coming from those solar panels.
In the Toronto District School Board’s press release about the project, Professor José Etcheverry, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University and President of the Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance is quoted as saying: “At 66 megawatts, this astounding project is in the same league as the world’s leading solar projects in Germany and Spain, and represents an historic educational and innovation landmark for public institutions across Canada and North America.”
The TDSB also feels that this project is an excellent fit with the board’s environmental agenda and that it will also provide learning opportunities. All said, this project is being seen as a win-win initiative that will meet urgent short-term needs (fixing roofs in need of immediate repair) and also create a more environmentally and financially sustainable future for the school board.
Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.
Photo credit: Pink Dispatcher