How We Did It Volume 8 — Solar Lease: How We Paid for the Juice
As you stand and look at the front of the Mosaic Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce, you might notice that the façade is a little unique. Instead of a standard wall covering, the south wall of the Mosaic Centre helps power the building through 76 integrated solar panels. If you go up to the roof, it gets even better. From the roof top patio you can look across the 560 high-output panels that drive the building to be Net-Zero by generating all of its energy on-site.
At 212kW, not only is the solar system on the Mosaic Centre currently the largest solar system operating in Alberta, it is unique in its design, technology, and how it is paid for.
The Mosaic Centre is one of the first commercial buildings in Alberta to use a solar lease from ENMAX Energy Corporation to generate clean, renewable energy from the sun. One of the largest barriers to adopting solar on commercial buildings is the upfront capital cost. In a typical scenario, the purchase of a solar system is essentially a pre-purchase of roughly 20 to 25 years of electricity. This can be a significant deterrent when embarking on a new building project where the budget is always tight. By signing on to an ENMAX solar lease, the Mosaic Centre has taken much of that upfront cost and spread it out over a 15 year period, effectively paying for the energy over time as the building uses the energy instead of upfront. It also shifts the bulk of the costs from the capital side of the budget to the operations side, where the building tenants will contribute to the monthly costs for the renewable energy they use.
As part of the deal, ENMAX and their local installer, Great Canadian Solar, handled the design, installation, and commissioning of the system. The Mosaic Centre is then left with a truly innovative system that helps keep the construction budget in check and provides a guaranteed price for energy for many years to come.
Want to learn more? Visit the ENMAX solar site.
Why the Mosaic Centre Chose an Enmax Solar Lease
- Reduced the capital cost of the building
- Provided operational cost certainty for 15 years versus fluctuating grid energy prices
- Flexible lease options to fit with a unique building project
- Backed by an energy company with a 100+ year history