Solar array adds over $100k to Kitchener's bottom line
More panels planned for Breithaupt community centre, official says
A solar panel array installed by Kitchener in 2011, has provided more than $100,000 in revenue for the city in the first six months of 2020.
Documents for a Kitchener finance committee meeting Monday show $113,588 was added to the city budget, $44,575 more than was anticipated.
"It equates to ultimately between about $350,000 and $450,000 a year," said Claire Bennett, the city's corporate sustainability officer.
"It actually paid for itself far sooner than what was expected," she added, saying the money spent on installation and setup was recouped in less than five years.
Enough electricity to power 75 homes, or about 500 kilowatts of power is generated by the array.
The panels sit atop Kitchener's operation facility at 131 Goodrich Dr., the site of the former BF Goodrich tire factory.
The city makes the money by pumping electricity from the solar gear back into the power grid, which then is returned as a credit on its overall electricity bill.
Kitchener spends many millions each year on electricity, so much so that a technological update allowing streetlights to be dimmed is saving $1.2 million each year, Bennett said.