Another exciting, innovative solar installation project has arrived in Ontario. A set of 162 solar thermal collectors are currently being constructed at Oxford Gardens, a retirement village in the town of Woodstock. The project is one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada. A partnership between Woodstock-based solar equipment supplier, Proterra Solar, and German firms, Narva and S-Power, which manufacture evacuated tubes and solar collectors respectively, made the project possible.
Solar Installation Project to Meet 40% of Oxford Gardens’ Energy Needs
Suni Ball, General Manager of Proterra Solar, explains that the solar collectors will be used to generate hot water at temperatures between 90-95°C. “In winter, the solar hot water will be used to heat the building,” says Ball. “In the summer, the energy used to heat the building will be converted into chilled water to air condition the building.”
Bill Van Haeren, co-owner of Oxford Gardens, says that this solar installation will be able to power 40% of the building’s air-conditioning requirement during the summer. It will also help to meet hot water, pool, and space heating demands. “This represents a significant portion of the energy consumption for the retirement home,” says Van Haeren.
Solar Training Helps International Companies Connect with Ontario Market
The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, along with the German Energy Agency, initiated this project as part of the Dena Solar Roofs Program – an initiative designed to offer support and training to German solar companies wishing to reach overseas markets. The opening ceremony for the Oxford Gardens solar installation project will take place on November 9, 2010. Major stakeholders in the renewable energy industry, as well as noted political figures, are expected to attend. With worldwide attention focused on this Ontario project, the market for solar technology can only grow exponentially, and solar training will continue to bridge gaps between workers and job opportunities in the sector.
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