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Solar panels installed at two Catholic secondary schools in Ottawa

Monday, February 9, 2015, OTTAWA — The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) is proud to join forces with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Coop (OREC) in launching two new solar energy projects on the rooftops of two secondary schools. The first, a 150‑kilowatt system, will be installed on the roof of École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, and generate 244,000 kilowatt-hours and $185,000 in rental income per year. The second, a 100-kilowatt system on the roof of Collège catholique Franco-Ouest, will produce 140,000 kilowatt-hours of green energy. Rental of the school’s rooftop by OREC will generate $60,000 in income for the CECCE for its sustainable development projects.

“The students will benefit from the added educational value through learning about renewable energy, since the solar panels will be a topic of analysis and discussion in the classroom,” said Bernard Roy, Director of Education of the CECCE. “As a result, we will be raising a generation of environmentally responsible citizens who will be able to contribute actively to building a fairer, greener, more united world.”

These two new community solar energy projects come in addition to the ten other CECCE schools connected to the Ontario power grid. The rental income will be generated under a 20-year contract between OREC and the Ontario Power Authority. It is expected that the new solar assemblies at École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité and Collège catholique Franco-Ouest will be integrated into the provincial power grid in February 2015.

According to the Chair of the CECCE, Denis Poirier, this project reflects the school board’s commitment to sustainable development – a major component of the CECCE’s strategic vision: “The CECCE strives to act as an environmentally responsible citizen, and to raise environmentally responsible citizens,” he said. “That’s why we believe students should be ethical and engaged citizens with an outlook and behaviours that are sensitive to the environment.”

The CECCE established its sustainable development plan in 2009. In addition to its many initiatives to reduce paper consumption, save energy, collect water and cut waste, the CECCE has integrated sustainable development concepts into every area of its elementary and secondary school curricula.

Previously, the CECCE had worked with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Coop on a first, 74-kilowatt solar project installed at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest, which began generating electricity in July 2014. It is expected to provide more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year to the Ontario power grid – enough to power 2.5 million 40W light bulbs for one hour. It’s a system that, over 20 years, will provide $140,000 in rental income to go toward the CECCE’s sustainable development initiatives.

With more than 21,000 students in 41 elementary and 10 secondary schools, as well as its school for adults, the CECCE is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.

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