This Member update is solely to update our Members with the current status of the production of the solar gardens. Since our last update on July 1st, a few Members have called for a clearer understanding of the process involved with getting the solar gardens connected to the system.
AGRIS Solar Gardens
As previously mentioned the pre mobilization site specific work has been completed. This includes all the following:
- Field Surveys,
- Ground Resistivity Testing
- Field Geotechnical Structural Analysis
- Site Layouts
- Issued For Construction Site Drawings/Layouts
- Site Specific Electrical Safety Authority Drawings
- Major Equipment Procurement
As described before, these are 7 ½ acre, 500 kW power plants. The energy generated from just one (we are 10) of the gardens has a crucial impact on the daily mix the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) need to deal with in conjunction with the nuclear, wind, hydro and other power producing sources across Ontario. As such, this process is very different from connecting one unit constructed behind the barn to the closest transformer or meter. We are now connecting to the high power distribution lines feeding transformer stations across Ontario.
The most critical factor to determining when the project will be connected is the project’sIn Service Date. The In Service Date is a date supplied by Hydro One based on their ability to connect projects to the grid. The process begins with a “kick-off” meeting at which the technical specifications and local resources are assessed to determine the timeline for connection. At the kick-off meeting a tentative date is set. Hydro One then follows up and sets an official In Service Date. To date, we have had 6 of our 10 required “kick-off” meeting with Hydro One to determine the timing for connection of the projects we have currently tentative received 6 of our 10 dates. We estimate that 6 dates will be confirmed for this year.
With this in mind we have started construction on the 8 Timiskaming, Ontario sites now and will begin construction of the 2 Picton sites by the end of the month. Keeping in mind we do not have official In Service Dates we will only continue to construct to a point until it is more prudent to stop and wait for the In Service Dates. The construction process to date has been very smooth, although we have had a few municipal issues it is nice to report that it has been full speed ahead. As mentioned above these are small 500kW power plants and are required to have the local municipally and community embrace these projects. We are very happy to report that the locals are extremely pleased with our development plans and we have completed the process of obtaining 911’s for all the properties and access roads have been approved and built.
Although all the sites are at various stages of completion stages that have been completed are:
- Electric Houses, solar panels and trackers have all been procured
- Perimeter Fencing
- Construction Equipment Staged
Over the next 30-45 days the following will be completed:
- Security Systems
- Trenching and laying of the DC conductors
Our goal is to get as many of the task completed without any risk to the Co-op if the tentative dates of connection are moved out by Hydro One. We are not expecting delays but and the same time we will always proceed with minimal risks.
We are working on setting up a place on the website that will provide pictures and updates through the process. Please stay tuned.
As you know the process has been long and in the past it always felt like with every two steps forward the next day was one step back. It is very gratifying that daily we are taking one step forward with a finish line clearly in sight.
Just another reminder, we are changing to direct deposit in 2015 (December 31, 2014 cheques). If you have not sent a VOID cheque in to the address below, please do so. If we do not receive your VOID cheque we will assume the current mail option is your preference.
As always we appreciate the calls or emails from Members when you notice issues with the units, please keep sending them into Jackie Flynn at Jackief@sparksolar.ca or call 1-877-247-4701.
Please call or email with any questions.
AGRIS Solar Co-operative Inc.
Director Member Services, Government Relations
1315 North Service Road East, Suite 300
Oakville, Ontario L6H 1A7
Tel: (905)829-3336 x141