Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan forecasts that approximately 10,700 megawatts (MW) of all electricity generated in Ontario will come from wind, solar and biomass sources by 2018. Alectra Utilities (formerly PowerStream) is committed to working with the Province to bring this vision to life. As an early adapter, the company understands the value of renewable generation and the importance of being an active participant in the government’s long-term green energy plans.
In 2009, Alectra Utilities created a stand-alone business unit dedicated to the development and construction of renewable energy generation projects across Ontario. The new division leases under-utilized rooftops on buildings that are owned by businesses and local governments in order to install, operate and maintain rooftop solar generation systems.
For building owners, this new business model establishes a steady revenue stream through annual lease payments for the 20-year duration of the contract, and for Alectra Utilities, it provides the opportunity to generate energy from renewable sources, in keeping with its mission of being a sustainable and environmentally- responsible company.
As an owner and operator, Alectra Utilities works with landlords, developers, contractors, consultants and government organizations during the acquisition, development, design, construction and maintenance phases of solar generation facilities. The company currently has installed solar generation facilities on 36 rooftops across the province with an installed capacity of 5.6 MW, generating enough electricity to power over 770 homes. A further 75 projects (roughly 17 MW) will be constructed in 2013 and 2014.
To help integrate the electricity from these and other renewable energy projects into the supply mix, the Province of Ontario is undertaking the development of a ‘smart’ electricity grid, using new digital technologies. Also, in the event that there is excess renewable energy that cannot be dispatched onto the smart grid immediately, industry leaders are investigating various storage technologies to store energy until it is required.
With the planned closing of all coal-fired plants in Ontario by 2014, the electricity supply mix will shift, allowing more renewable electricity to flow into the grid. Alectra Utilities is actively supporting the Province’s green energy plan by owning and operating solar generation facilities and also by helping other solar developers connect their solar generation facilities to the Alectra Utilities grid.
Alectra Utilities' municipal shareholders have invested in the solar generation business and expect a rate of return on their investment.
Renewable Generation Case Study (1,670KB PDF)