Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Windsor home to one of world’s largest rooftop solar photovoltaic projects


July 18, 2011
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Solar & AlternativeTechnology Corp. (S.A.T.), a Mississauga, Ont.-based solar installation company, has partnered with solar panel manufacturer Soventix Canada Inc. and the Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. distillery to design and build the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic plant in Canada, at 7.9 Megawatts.

S.A.T. and Soventix Canada Inc. have entered into a 20-year lease agreement with the distiller to rent the roof surfaces of its Pike Creek warehouse in Windsor, Ont., where it produces Wiser’s Canadian whisky, among other alcoholic beverages. The installation site, which is the size of 24 football fields, is expected to produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes and offset 9,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

“We expect to generate around 30 local installation jobs during the one-year construction phase of this project,” said S.A.T.’s CEO Thorsten Hoefer.

Revenue generated by Hiram Walker through the lease agreement will be reinvested in higher efficiency boilers, helping the distillery to further reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent.

“Not only should this project be quite beneficial to the Province of Ontario’s sustainability efforts, but it also allows us to improve our processes while demonstrating our commitment to responsible production,” said Jim Stanski, Hiram Walker’s vice-president of operations.

Hiram Walker’s decision process to build such a large-scale rooftop solar project was lengthy and addressed numerous concerns including: building structural load capacities, installation timeline, health and safety risks, and a potential price increment in insurance policy. Additionally, a comprehensive risk assessment was carried out to ensure product safety and avoid any possible form of contamination. The evaluation phase of the decision process lasted nearly one year.