City ponders solar rooftop request 0
The Sunshine City may start living up to its name.
City staff are recommending Orillia negotiate a long-term lease agreement with Orillia Power Corporation (OPC) for four city-owned rooftops.
Rotary Place, the municipal operations centre, Barnfield Point Recreation Centre and TeleTech could house solar panels.
City politicians will discuss the opportunity at Monday’s council committee meeting.
In total, the four sites are capable of supporting an almost one-megawatt project.
“To create value from the available rooftop space, the city can either develop the project itself, or simply lease the space to another developer,” Bob Ripley, Orillia’s chief financial officer and Ian Sugden, director of development services, wrote in a report. “Because the capital cost of installation of solar panels on all four roofs is estimated at approximately $5 million and the city has other priorities for capital, staff recommend the more passive lease approach.”
To keep all net revenues within the city’s corporate bounds, staff recommend sole-sourcing the development to OPC, pending their approval.
The only city involvement would be to receive lease payments.
“If all four projects were approved by the (Ontario Municipal Board), it is anticipated that the minimum annual revenue to the city would be in the range of $35,000,” the report states, adding that is subject to negotiation.
West Orillia employment lands should be sold only to “high job density” employers, states a report by the city’s Economic Development Committee (EDC).
“The development pillar of the EDC has spent considerable time over the past year considering and researching the question ‘Does Orillia have enough employment lands for the next 15 years?’” the report by EDC manager Dan Landry states. “The simple answer is ‘Yes, but it depends.’”
The roughly 50-acre lot is Orillia’s last remaining city-owned employment land, which can accommodate small and large industry.
“It is important that the city encourage only employers with the potential of high job density to purchase these city-owned employment lands and that employers with low job density be encouraged to locate elsewhere in Orillia,” states Landry’s report.
“In April 2009, a Sorensen Gravely Lowes report indicated an estimated 4,500 jobs were located on city employment lands, which results in a current employment density of 25 jobs per hectare,” Landry’s report states. “The remaining employed Orillians were in jobs located outside the city or in commercial and institution enterprises located throughout the city.”
The EDC is recommending the city restrict sales of west Orillia employment lands to employers who meet a target of 25 or more employees per hectare.
The committee is also looking to investigate any significant blocks of employment land that could be acquired by the city.