Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington and local Rotarians have recently announced an exciting collaborative venture. The initiative aims to facilitate both green energy production and affordable housing for Canadians.

In collaboration with the Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity will install solar panels at its build on Speedvale Avenue East. The Speedvale site, currently an office building, will accommodate 70 housing units.

Ryan Deska, director of community engagement and development for Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington, estimates the cost of the project to be $750,000. The target completion date is set for the end of 2025.

The Speedvale project is the first time that Habitat for Humanity and the Rotary Club have collaborated to build eco-friendly affordable housing in Canada.

In an interview with the Guelph Mercury, Carolyn Weatherson highlighted the long-term benefits of the project for homeowners. Weatherson is a Rotary project leader and member of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG).

Weatherson noted that once the solar panels are set up, residents enjoy free electricity for three decades. This reduction in energy bills makes it much easier for residents to escape the cycle of poverty. It also makes renewable energy accessible to low-income families who cannot afford private solar installations.

According to Weatherson, installing a mere 5-kilowatt system on one Habitat for Humanity house eliminates approximately 82,000 kilograms of carbon emissions over 30 years. This does more to fight climate change than planting 2,000 trees.

The build partner, Kiwi Newton Group, will design the building to maximize solar energy production and incorporate other energy-efficient measures.

Cam Krajcik, Kiwi Newton’s VP of design and engineering, mentioned that the company is currently in the initial planning stages with the city.

Based on solar modeling, Kiwi Newton anticipates generating 415,000 kilowatt-hours per year. This translates to approximately $62,000 in annual savings for the owners, considering the current energy rates.

The anticipated yearly energy demand for the Speedvale site is expected to be 710,000 kilowatt-hours. Therefore, solar production will account for 60% of the site’s energy requirements.

Guelph Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Mike Schreiner expressed optimism about the project, referring to it as “transformational.” Schreiner is encouraging local residents to support the initiative in whatever way they can.

Find out more about the Speedvale project at https://habitatgw.ca/.

Image Source: Global News, https://shorturl.at/bEV19