Case Study 

Immanuel Christian School Solar Project   

Project Type: Solar Rooftop

Applicant: Immanuel Christian School (Charity)

Grants Awarded:  $35,550

Project Size:  62 kW

Status:  Preliminary Project Development

When Jasper Hoogendam replaced the solar thermal installation on his home with a photovoltaic array and started earning revenue through the microFIT program, he realized the larger opportunity for solar in Ontario.  Jasper is principal of Immanuel Christian School, an independent elementary school in Oshawa. In early 2010, the school began investigating the potential for putting solar panels on the roof.  As a charitable organization, the school plans to use FIT electricity generation payments to fund future building improvements and upgrades.  After the initial fundraising for the system, the solar array would effectively replace the need for ongoing fundraising for school maintenance over 20 years.

As a first step to develop the project, Jasper worked with his son Jordan, a green building design engineer at Zon Engineering, to complete a feasibility study.  They looked at the site of the project, studying the slope of the roof, the unobstructed area, the building orientation and its potential for energy generation.  Jordan Hoogendam, with support from John Meiboom from Third Way Solar presented the findings at a school parent meeting and earned the support of over 60 families for this major capital investment. In October, the board of directors gave the project the green light conditional upon presenting a sound business case once their FIT contract is in place.

Immanuel Christian School received a CEPP grant in May of 2011 to begin moving forward.  The school hopes to start the installation of a 62 kW system in 2012. The PV Solar feasibility study highlighted the fact that the school has been at a responsible level of electricity use in the past five years. The proposed 62 kW system would in effect make the building net zero in its electricity consumption.   Jasper plans to organize the solar version of a barn-raising, or in this case “panel-raising,” drawing on the various skills of the community volunteers and creating a community event around the project.  Once the installation is complete, “God’s little green helpers,” the school environment team will build awareness about their solar energy project among the students.  And interest is growing.  Jasper has already received a number of phone calls from other private schools in Ontario also interested in mounting solar panels on their school rooftops.

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.

School Site Image

School Site