Vendor Announced for University’s Solar Panel Project

Published on: 2010/12/28 - in Science & Tech

The process for installing more solar panels (PVs) on campus is moving ahead with the selection of a preferred vendor.

“Based on the strong proposals that we received, we are hopeful that solar investment is a viable option given the environmental and financial considerations,” says Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis.

The Campus and Planning Development Committee of the Board of Trustees recently approved Johnson Controls as the preferred vendor for the project. The university is working through some details before entering into contract negotiations with the company.

Based on pre-feasibility studies, Johnson Controls proposed a total solar PV deployment of 950 kW on main and west campus and a 10 MW ground-mounted system at the Queen’s University Biological Station located north of Kingston.

The system sizes may change once full feasibility studies examine rooftop conditions, structural capacities, and grid connection points. The ground-mounted system will also be subject to connection availability assessments and a full environmental assessment.

The team that reviewed and evaluated the proposals recommended the university pursue the project under a leasing model.

“The approach would alleviate performance risks for Queen’s, eliminate the need for capital investment, and ensure the systems are in place before the anticipated Ontario Power Authority feed-in tariff rate changes,” says Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities) Ann Browne.

The feasibility work will begin once a contract is signed and will take two to four weeks to complete. The financing, design, engineering, permitting, and procurement would follow over a three- to six-month period. The installation would then take place within six to nine months.

The university issued a request for information (RFI) in early August to identify the financial models, potential scope and different firms capable of designing and installing Queen’s-specific systems.

As a result of the RFI, the university put out a request for proposals (RFP) in early October. The seven proposals went through a three-part evaluation process. For each stage, evaluation team members scored the proponents separately and then a consensus score was agreed to among the group. The scores from each stage were added together and the firm with the highest cumulative score was identified as the preferred vendor.


Article and photo courtesy of Queen’s University News Centre and reprinted with permission