Canada's largest rooftop solar installation powers up

Canada’s largest rooftop solar photovoltaic plant is powering up. OYA Solar Inc.’s massive solar array on the roof of Atlas Tube in Harrow, Ont., will supply enough electricity to power 60 homes for an entire year.

The solar system will offset more than 420 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of planting more than 25,000 trees, according to OYA.

Atlas Solar DisplayThe solar plant spans  nearly 120,000 square feet of rooftop, or roughly the size of seven hockey rinks. The project employs 2,244 solar modules and more than 30 tons of steel tubing from Atlas Tube and makes use of Polar Racking’s rooftop  ballasted mounting system.

OYA managing partner Manish Nayar said in a statement the project “showcases how traditionally energy-intensive industries can make sustainable choices for their energy consumption and still benefit the bottom line.”

Polar Racking is a sister company to OYA and is a strategic partner with Atlas. Polar designs, manufactures and assembles racking and incorporates Atlas’s steel tubing for use in solar arrays.

“We foresee the market for rooftop solar growing significantly across North America as commercial and industrial clients see the economic and environmental benefits of moving toward sustainable energy solutions,” Nayar said.

Solar market expanding

According to the National Survey Report of Photovoltaic Power in Canada 2012, the industry is expanding. The report indicated the total market incentives and budgets for photovoltaic in Canada in 2012 stood at $333 million, an increase of 78 per cent over 2011.

The report, published by CanSIA, the national trade association that represents some 650 solar companies in Canada, said the jump was largely attributed to Ontario’s feed-in tariff program.

In 2013, Ontario was North America’s second-largest market for solar photovoltaic installations.

OYA Solar, founded in 2009, has developed and constructed more than 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic projects.

The company’s core business is developing and financing distributed generation solar photovoltaic projects ranging in size from 100 kilowatts to 10 megawatts for commercial and government clients.

Also builds residential projects

OYA also builds residential projects across North America, enabling homeowners to take advantage of local feed-in tariffs, federal and state subsidies and state renewable energy credits.

The firm is headquartered in Toronto with offices in New York, Los Angeles and New Delhi. OYA funds its own development capital and works with other investment funds for projects in the United States, Europe and Asia.

OYA’s commercial projects include Injection Technologies‘ 979 solar modules in Windsor; a 250-kilowatt rooftop array for Sun Parlour Greenhouse Grower’s Co-op in Leamington, Ont.; and an 82.8-kilowatt system for Metex Heat Treating in Brampton.

Many of the company’s projects tend to be in the five- to 10-kilowatt range and are either residential or “isolated grid” in nature.

Last year, the company become the first solar firm in Ontario to have a feed-in tariff project on its own building. It installed a 135-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array that generates sufficient electricity daily to power 12 homes and offset more than 123,000 pounds of fossil fuels annually.


A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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