New rooftop solar panel project is region’s largest

The Transit West operations and maintenance facility, in Vaughan, is York Region’s latest rooftop solar panel project and is more than twice the size of all of the region’s current solar power projects combined. The 500-kilowatt solar array will triple the region’s capacity to generate solar power.

The new project has the potential to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 143 tonnes of carbon. That’s equivalent to 13 hectares of forest absorbing carbon, the region reports.

“This initiative is aligned with our overall energy conservation plan and helps us take the necessary steps today to ensure high quality of life for future generations,” said Wayne Emmerson, York Region CEO, in a news release.

The project is the sixth under an energy saving programs administered by the Independent Electricity System Operator. The others are located at the Transportation Operations Centre, Georgina water treatment plant, Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre, Paramedic and Senior Services Facility and Stouffville Zone 2 pumping station.

In 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from regional operations totalled 92,384 tonnes, equivalent to emissions of more than 18,000 cars and 2.5 per cent lower than forecasted. With its solar power installations, the region says it’s on track to meet its 2021 renewable energy generation targets outlined in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan.

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