Solar energy at Hamilton landfill

Despite the Ontario government pulling the plug on nearly $4 billion of renewable energy projects last month, Hamilton is moving forward with a solar energy plan. The city wants to use the undesirable land on the Glanbrook landfill site to to produce green energy.

The idea is the city will fork out $1.2 million to build and operate the ground mounted solar photo voltaic project through Ontario’s feed-in tariff program. If the city’s plans are accepted through this program, the power generated through the panels would be fed into the grid and Ontario would pay the city for it.

Hamilton staff say the project would bring in around $680 000 over the course of 20 years. The city says the solar panels it wants to install in the outskirts of the landfill will produce enough energy to power between 500 and 600 homes every year. But not everyone is on board with this idea.

“The risk is the legislation gets changed. We saw the Samsung deal get cut in half and so you always take that risk when another level of government decides they want to go in a different direction.” Lloyd Ferguson, city councillor.

Ontario suspended its large renewable energy procurement last month, axing plans to sign $3.8 billion in renewable energy contracts. The city of Hamilton maintains this project falls under a different program. The ministry of energy says the recent cuts in no way affect the feed-in tariff program and the funding for the program is stable and ongoing.

The recommendation will be voted on at the council meeting next Wednesday.


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