Drouin Farms, a large family run egg producer who has made the commitment to move to organic farming, is now taking its operations solar with a 250 kW solar energy system. The solar energy system was installed by Ottawa Solar Power, the largest provider of solar solutions in Eastern Ontario. Leveraging Ontario’s FIT program, the new solar energy system will provide Drouin Farms an additional revenue stream to diversify its income and expands its operations.
The Drouin Farms solar project will produce energy generation revenue that is expected to achieve up to 11% return on their investment and will reach its financial break even point in less than 8 years. Producing over 300,000 kWh per year, the project achieves significant environmental benefits by reducing CO2 emissions from non renewable power generation by 2,800 tons annually and produce the energy equivalent to the power consumption of 30 average homes.
The FIT and microFIT programs have allowed Ottawa Solar Power to triple its work force, creating new jobs and opportunities for workers. Ottawa Solar Power hired recent college graduates that were enrolled in renewable energy courses at Ontario colleges and took on a co-op student who was studying renewable energy engineering at Carleton University. In 2011, Ottawa Solar Power hired 12 new people, and directly injected over $1.5 million dollars into the local economy and over $3 million into the economy of Ontario. Michael McGahern president of Ottawa Solar Power said, “Our company was excited that Drouin Farms decided to work with an experienced solar installation company for this project. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our organization to showcase our 15 years of renewable energy experience on such a large-scale project.”
“The FIT and microFIT programs have been very successful in accomplishing their goals of increasing employment and bringing local manufacturing to Ontario. Today, the Province’s solar industry supports the equivalent of 8,200 full-time solar jobs. The FIT program’s local content requirements have attracted both established international manufacturers, like Conergy, as well as some new startup organizations to Ontario – almost 30 solar PV module and inverter manufacturing facilities have been established across the Province.” – Jared Donald, President of Conergy Canada.
The solar energy system uses 1,248 Conergy ON modules. Conergy, a global leader in solar energy with over a decade of manufacturing, supply and design experience and over nine years of experience in Canada, provided PV design and engineering support and pre and post construction consultation for the Drouin Farms solar energy system. The Conergy ON modules are manufactured for Conergy in Ontario and meet Ontario Power Authority local content requirements.
With the system already connected and supplying power to the Hydro One distribution system, Drouin Farms is pleased with the energy production and the look of the system. Jean Francois Drouin, President of Drouin Farms, stated, “Solar is the future, just like organic farming, and we are proud to be part of the future” When Drouin Farms decided to go solar, they wanted a local supplier and installer. “Not only did we want to keep our dollars local and support the FIT program, but it was important to us to work with a company like Ottawa Solar Power, that shared a strong interest in the project’s success. Conergy and Ottawa Solar Power have been great partners.”