A rooftop solar array made up of over 2,300 panels across 50,000 square feet now sits atop the Jamieson Laboratories head office and primary production facility in Windsor, Ontario. This 630 kilowatt solar project was developed by Solar Power Network (SPN), a Canadian company specializing in the transformation of idle commercial and industrial rooftops into sources of green energy.
Jamieson Laboratories is Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer of vitamins and supplements. Under the leadership of president and CEO Vic Neufield, they have embraced on-site renewable power generation as a key part of their plan to become the country’s first zero-footprint supplement manufacturer. “Our work in wellness compels us to close the circle on sustainability,” says Neufield.
SPN has worked with local distribution carrier EnWin to connect this and four other rooftop sites in Windsor to the grid for a total generating capacity of 1.5 megawatts, the annual equivalent of more than 24 hours of coal-fired generation.
Looking forward, SPN has agreements to install solar panels on another 124 buildings in Southwestern Ontario alone, most of which are in the Windsor-Essex region. “With a large forward-thinking industrial base in Windsor, flat manufacturing rooftops, coupled with sun hours well above the provincial average have made the region a natural home for rooftop solar,” says Peter Goodman, president and CEO, SPN. “With an additional 180 agreements across the rest of Ontario, it is clear that the manufacturing sector is embracing the economic and social benefits of solar power.”
SPN uses panels manufactured in Mississauga by Silfab, and installs in partnership with local contractors GSL and Masotti Construction. SPN’s focus on local sourcing is creating approximately seventy new jobs in Ontario.
SPN developed this site in financial partnership with PowerStream, Ontario’s second largest municipal electricity company. “As more businesses get onboard with rooftop solar,” says Peter Goodman, “the day is in sight when coal power in Ontario can be entirely replaced with renewable energy generated locally at the point of need. This distributed generation model eliminates the losses and inefficiencies of long-distance electricity transmission, while putting power directly in the hands of the community. It is the foundational building block of the smart grid of the future.”