Nova Scotia

Halifax's solar city burns businesses, say bidders

Four businesses say they're in unfair competition with Halifax's city hall over the solar city program.

15 homes have been retrofitted under $8.3 million program

Four businesses say they’re in unfair competition with Halifax’s city hall over the solar city program.

The city has selected only one company to supply the solar panels to 1,000 homes a year.

But the losing bidders say they should get a crack at the business as well.

"They’ve just invaded our space instead beyond what they should have done," said Kelly Lunn of EnCom Alternative Energy Solutions. "In promoting a technology they’ve become a provider of it."

Lunn and the three other companies that lost the competition wrote Mayor Mike Savage and the federal competition bureau outlining their objections.

Richard MacLellan, the city’s manager of energy, said the competition was fair, and the winning bidder will best deliver the program that Halifax Regional Municipality wanted.

"Solar city has always been about providing barrier-free access to residents to participate in renewable energy projects, it has always been about simplicity."

So far, 15 of a planned 1,000 homes have been retrofitted with solar water heating systems under the solar city program.