The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) announced today an initiative to install solar panels on hundreds of school rooftops. Approved by school board trustees, the initiative will offset energy and roof maintenance costs.
Said to be “the most important initiative of its kind on the planet,” by Professor José Etcheverry, York University, the solar panel energy initiative comes from an arrangement between TDSB and Amp Solar Limited Partnership. The solar panel initiative will provide solar energy to the community as well as provide the TDSB a no-cost, long term strategy for replacing aging roofs.
“Our rooftops represent a major untapped sustainable-energy resource,” said TDSB Chair Chris Bolton, in a statement. “By installing solar panels on them, Toronto communities will get clean green energy, 450 schools will receive much-needed roof repairs, and TDSB students will experience an unparalleled real-life lesson in sustainable living.”
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Once installed, the solar panels are estimated to produce between 58 and 66 MW of electricity each year which is equal to meeting the needs of 6,000 average Toronto households. Energy produced on TDSB rooftops will be sold to the distribution grid for use in Ontario.
“This truly is a day for celebration at the TDSB. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved,” said Director of Education Chris Spence. “This school board has led the way to realizing a greener future with our highly acclaimed EcoSchools program. Now we’re doing it again. This groundbreaking concept is the next step.”
The solar energy move from the Toronto school board is part of the district’s Go Green: Climate Change Action Plan.