Ontario’s $8-million garden bed will soon be coming to Toronto
Toronto’s $6.4-million plan to bring the world’s most advanced solar power plant to a small Ontario community is set to open next week.
The Ontario Power Generation plant, located at the southern end of the Toronto Islands, will generate about 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 10,000 homes.
“I think it’s a great time to bring it to Toronto, to bring energy to our community, and to be able to see it in action,” said Linda Bailie, a community member who helped put together the project.
The project will be open to the public.
“The plan is that it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful site,” she said.
“It will be the first large-scale solar power facility in the world, with the kind of technology we have now, in the most pristine conditions.”
The plant will generate electricity to power homes and businesses with power from rooftop solar panels.
“We’ve been waiting for the right time to build a plant like this in Ontario,” said Bailies co-chair of the Friends of Garden Bed, a grassroots organization that’s been working to bring solar power to the island.
“So, for us to have the first of its kind is really exciting.”
The garden bed was designed by architects David R. Brown and Richard G. Wojtasz and features a solar roof and wind turbines.
It will be installed in a community garden.
The plants will be placed at various points along the island, with more plants to come.
“This will be one of the largest solar energy projects in the province, and we’ve got the support of the provincial government,” said Wojtkasz.
“They’ve put so much faith in the community that this is a good idea.”
The Ontario Energy Board approved the project in June and the company expects to begin operating in the summer of 2020.
In April, the plant’s owners, Dominion Energy, announced they will pay $6 million in debt to build the plant and pay off $5 million of the loan.
The company is now building the plant to meet demand for electricity, but it will need more than 1,000 megawatts to power the island’s 1,200 homes.
Bailys group hopes the project will attract developers and help bring the island back to the forefront of the solar industry.
“Solar is the future of electricity generation in Ontario, and this plant is going to allow us to start that revolution,” said the Friends’ executive director, Robyn Renn.
The island’s solar plant is one of five that will come online next year.
The others are the Dominion Power plant in Sudbury, the FirstEnergy facility in Toronto, and the Oak Bay Power Station in Oakville.
The three other solar plants that are in the process of construction will generate energy for about 800 homes.