OPA approves first educational solar partnerships in Canada with the Conseil
des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, Grand Erie District School Board
and Ameresco

OTTAWA, April 1 /CNW/ - Two Ontario school boards are lighting the way to a greener, more energy-efficient future. The Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO), in eastern Ontario, and the Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB), in south-central Ontario, have partnered with Ameresco Canada Inc. which has received contract offers from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to install solar panels on the rooftops of elementary and secondary schools in their respective districts.

The boards have chosen Ameresco Canada Inc. as their solar and renewable energy partner. Ameresco will design, build, own, maintain and monitor the solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the selected schools, while the school districts will generate ongoing revenue based on installed MW (megawatts) at no risk or cost to them.

Thanks to this renewable-energy initiative, Ameresco Canada will install up to 3.3MW of solar technology at 23 Grand Erie District School Board schools, and up to 1.5MW in solar-power generating capacity at 16 schools in Le Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario.

With more than 36 years experience in school facility renewal, Ameresco's dedicated team of solar designers and project-management staff has already implemented similar programs throughout North America, bringing experience and a track record of success to the table.

"We are proud to work with these boards, which are paving the way to a new era in green energy," said Mario P. Iusi, President, Ameresco Canada. "At the school level, students will derive tremendous benefits from seeing a 'live solar laboratory' on the roof of their schools. An environmental and science educational component will be developed in partnership with the school districts."

The solar partnership launches at CEPEO on April 1 to coincide with the kick-off of the Kids' ISO 14000 initiative with partner ArTech. Kids' ISO 14000 encourages students to apply the skills taught in the classroom to the challenge of reducing their family's environmental impact.

"Environmental education must go beyond teaching respect and awareness, and must focus more on changing consumption patterns. Both the Ameresco and ArTech partnerships will provide a wonderful way to teach our students to become responsible users of energy sources while at the same time giving them tools that will allow them to make a significant impact in their community and on the environment", explained Georges Orfali, CEPEO Chair.

It is anticipated that the Grand Erie District School Board solar program will launch April 22 pending official contract sign-off.

About Ameresco Canada

As a recognized leader in the renewable energy marketplace, Ameresco assists clients in the education, healthcare, government, social housing, commercial and industrial sectors with the design, construction and financing of their own renewable energy sources that are both clean and affordable. With more than 36 years of experience in the K-12 education market, Ameresco is the Canadian leader in school facility renewal, focusing on meeting the needs of Education leaders through the creation of quality teaching and learning environments. Through its Better Schools(TM) initiative, Ameresco has enhanced the quality of the teaching and learning environment for numerous district school boards, in addition to reducing utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

About Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario

The Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) encompasses 37 public French-language elementary and secondary schools, serving more than 11,000 students across Eastern Ontario.

About Grand Erie District School Board

The Grand Erie District School Board (GEDSB) covers an area of 4,067 sq. km in south-central Ontario, encompassing close to 18,000 students attending 64 elementary schools and another 10,000 in 16 secondary schools.

About Ontario Power Authority

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is the leading provider of reliable, cost-effective and sustainable electricity in the province. The OPA works with its partners to ensure the supply of energy meets the needs of customers both now and in the future, while facilitating measures that achieve ambitious conservation targets. The OPA's Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program is a key platform in Ontario's Green Energy Act, and is North America's first comprehensive feed-in tariff program for renewable energy. Renewable energy encompasses solar, landfill gas, biogas, waterpower, biomass, and wind power.

About ArTech and the Kids' ISO 14000 Programme

International Art and Technology Cooperation Organization (ArTech) is a Japanese NGO established in 1999 and registered with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in January 2000. One of the objectives of ArTech is to balance "Art" or human culture and "High Technology" in the 21t century. To this end, ArTech has organized the Art center, the Plasma High-Tech Center, Bio-High Tech Center and The Kids' ISO 14000 Project. For more information, visit: www.artech.or.jp


For further information: For further information: CEPEO, Mélanie Gauthier, Agente des communications, Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, (613) 742-8960 ext. 2209, melanie.gauthier@cepeo.on.ca; GEDSB, Tony Iavarone, APR, FCPRS, Manager, Communications & Community Relations, (519) 756-6306, ext. 281147, Toll-free: 1-888-548-8878, www.granderie.ca; Ameresco Canada Inc, Craig Piercey, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development Services, 1-888-483-7267, cpiercey@ameresco.com, English: http://www.ameresco.ca/en/green-solar.html, Français: http://www.ameresco.ca/fr/green-solar.html

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