FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE: AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that two Ontario school boards, Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB) based in Brantford, and Le Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO), based in Ottawa, are benefiting from greener schools and a revenue stream for 20 years, through a solar partnership with Ameresco Canada.
Ameresco’s solar program with the school boards is governed by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program based on the directives from the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s 2009 Green Energy Act, which supports the development and implementation of green and renewable energy technologies in Ontario. These include solar energy, wind power, water power, biomass, biogas and landfill gas. Through the FIT program, the school boards will receive revenue for leasing their rooftops, and the generated electricity will be sold back to the grid, offsetting the carbon emissions produced by equivalent traditional electricity generation. This revenue is expected to allow the boards to confront the much-needed school building renewal backlog of equipment maintenance and repairs, as well as boost underfunded academic programming.
Ameresco has been an active participant in the FIT program developing solar photovoltaic (PV) projects on school rooftops since 2009. Ameresco has completed the installation of 20 PV rooftop systems with GEDSB, and 12 PV rooftop systems with CEPEO, with an aggregate capacity of 3.3 megawatts (MW). These two boards were among the first school districts to participate in the FIT Program and sign FIT contracts in Ontario, with Ameresco as their renewable energy generation partner. Ameresco continues to be an active participant with recent awards of FIT contracts for two additional Ontario school districts, with solar assets totaling 1.5 MW, and additional applications pending OPA approval.
Ameresco staff has over 30 years of experience with school districts as an energy solutions provider helping school districts manage their financial and sustainability challenges, while ensuring quality work/study environments for the staff and students. The FIT program allows Ameresco and the school districts to build on their established relationship and achieve greater success through the generation of renewable energy.
Ameresco’s integrated approach to this extensive solar program includes modeling, solid financial structuring, engineering, product procurement and project/construction procurement and management, as well as real-time monitoring of power generation for each solar installation. The projects make annual lease payments to the school boards over the 20-year period. The consistent revenue stream allows the school boards to plan for much-needed facility and other upgrades over the longer term.
Anthony Da Silva, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Ameresco Canada, said: "By working closely with educators, we are providing green energy and demonstrating to students our commitment to environmental stewardship. We are delivering school improvements and environmentally responsible spaces for learning and working with revenue generated from solar energy. This solar partnership highlights how private and public organizations can work together to provide a better future for our communities and the planet.”
Édith Dumont, Director of Education for CEPEO, stated: “We have been actively engaging students, staff and the school community in innovative environmental initiatives through our award-winning Éco-Responsible education program. The solar partnership is a perfect fit at our schools, where it has already sparked a strong environmental consciousness among students. Teaming up with a good partner that had the right experience was crucial to our success in this endeavour.”
The solar partnerships are seen as a community initiative that dovetails with the school boards’ commitment to provide clean, healthy, environmentally responsible schools. As an added benefit, the PV installations offer students the opportunity to see a “living laboratory” in action.
Grand Erie District School Board’s mission is to engage, support and inspire all learners to achieve and succeed. Grand Erie represents more than 26,000 students in 60 elementary and 16 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk. A dedicated staff of 2,700 employees focuses on the achievement, environment, and engagement through its vision: Growing Excellence… Inspiring Success. For more information, please visit www.granderie.ca.
The Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) encompasses 37 public French-language elementary and secondary schools, serving more than 11,000 students across Eastern Ontario. For more information, please visit http://www.cepeo.on.ca/.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, health care and educational institutions, housing authorities and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco provides local expertise through its 69 offices in 34 states, five Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom. Ameresco has more than 1000 employees. For more information, visit http://www.ameresco.com/.