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Ontario launches renewable energy project in London

October 13, 2021   Maryam Farag

The Ontario government is unveiling a demonstration project in London to explore how a community can work together to generate renewable energy, help protect the environment and lower electricity costs for individuals and businesses in the community.

Sifton Properties’ West 5 development, a 70-acre multi-use community, has been selected as the demonstration site for the new community net metering model (CNM).

“Community net metering allows us to overproduce solar energy on one building, then use that energy in other buildings at West 5. It allows us to continue exploring future opportunities from a community level not building level. It opens the doors for micro grids, battery storage, high speed bus or car charging. This model is very important in the future of Net Zero communities,” said Richard Sifton, President and CEO, Sifton Properties.

West 5 will be the first to use this new model in Ontario, which will see its residences, office space and retirement living integrate solar panels, solar parkades, electric vehicle chargers, green roofs, and other innovative elements to help lower energy costs for residents and businesses, while building a more sustainable community for the future.

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In a CNM model, a community can generate its own electricity using renewable sources and send excess power to the grid for a credit on their electricity bill. These credits could then be shared across multiple households and businesses in the community to reduce electricity bills when using power from the grid.

“Through the CNM program, London Hydro will develop innovative new tools and technology as well as gain valuable experience in installing and operating a microgrid,” said Vinay Sharma, CEO, London Hydro. “When completed, this project is expected to help avoid nearly 30 Mwh of energy usage annually while offsetting about 20 megatons of CO2 over a ten-year period. Thanks to the leadership of the Ontario government, the CNM initiative will prove to be a win-win-win business model for the environment, developer, and utility.”