Case Study 

Boys and Girls Club of London

Project Type: Solar Rooftop

Applicant: Boys and Girls Club of London Foundation

Grants Awarded:  $74,950

Project Size:  138 kW

Status:  Project Complete and Commissioned

The Boys and Girls Club of London (BGC) is a sports club that runs education and recreational programming for youth.  For over 50 years, the Club has created “a place where kids can be themselves” in the London area.

In order to sustain the Club financially, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada established foundations to undertake fundraising campaigns and events such as the London Ribfest.  In past years, the Foundation board has been actively researching new and innovative fundraising ideas.  When the Feed-In-Tariff program was announced in Ontario, they identified solar energy as a new opportunity.  The Foundation board then formed a solar feasibility sub-committee and started investigating options.

Don Donner, the Executive Director considers the solar project “an entrepreneurial and creative way of dealing with sustainability issues in the Province.”  The Foundation was concerned about whether they could assume the financial risk associated with the early stages of the project until they learned about the Community Energy Partnership Program, which helped them over this initial hurdle.  CEPP supported the Boys and Girls Club of London Foundation to conduct legal work, business planning and an engineering study.

After some reinforcing of the facility roof, the Foundation was able to get started on installing over 600 panels.  Not only will the solar project generate a reliable revenue while producing clean energy on the rooftop year-round, Don also sees the project as an opportunity to demonstrate good leadership on the environment to the 8000 kids that visit the club on annual basis.

There has been immense interest from other community facilities in the London area from organizations such as Big Brother, Big Sisters. Of the 24 boy and girls clubs in Ontario, 3 are already actively pursuing solar projects using this model.  Back at the Boys and Girls Club of London, the Club board is now looking into their next project; solar thermal systems to heat their two swimming pools, a project that will harness the power of the sun, and save the building on energy costs.

This project has received funding support from the Ontario Power Authority through the Community Energy Partnerships Program. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario of the contents of this material. The views expressed in the material are the views of the Recipient and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario.

Image:  BGC Solar Rooftop Installation

Boys and Girls Club Launch Video