The Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Foundation (SMGHF) has been working strategically for many years to develop diversified sources of revenue. Located in a region with a relatively small population base of 80,000 and a slow local economy, the Foundation has successfully shifted a portion of its activities from a conventional fundraising model to one that includes entrepreneurial approaches to emerging business opportunities.
"We believe SMGHF is now developing the first grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) solar project initiated by a hospital foundation in the Province" said Ed Wheatley, the Chief Development Officer for SMGHF. He started thinking about the opportunity to participate in the Ontario Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program after visiting the London Home Show in February of 2010. It wasn’t until the Community Energy Partnerships Program (CEPP) was announced in March of 2010, that Ed was able to make the case to his board that SMGHF should apply, to receive funding to get started investigating the feasibility of the project. Ed concludes, “We never would have been able to do it without the funding from CEPP.”
The Hospital Foundation received an initial grant of $74,795 to do business planning and undertake related legal work. A solar committee of 8 members including staff and volunteers was set up to assist and lend expertise to the development of this 250 kW solar project.
Being technically inclined, Ed admits, has helped him to climb a steep learning curve and to educate the various agencies and organizations affiliated with the hospital, about solar and the FIT opportunity in Ontario. Ed considers the rooftop solar PV project as a chance to better understand a new fundraising model for the foundation, “We wanted to have expertise internally and build a boilerplate for future projects.” Solar PV has the potential to make a difference, both in the way hospital foundations look at raising money and to the communities they serve.
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.
To learn more about t
he Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Foundation (SMGHF):
Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital