Lions Get Solar Lesson on Visit to Northland Facility

IMG_20181025_012141_resized_20181025_012422724.jpgLions Jim Scala (Right) and Wayne Bent (Left) accept a cheque for $1,000 from Northland Power site managers Cory Sauve (Centre Left) and Riley Bennett (Centre Right).

 

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Westport Lions Roar

By Lion Bob Reddick

On October 22nd, the Westport Lions Club went on a field trip to Northland Power Solar Facilities on Little Rideau Lake Road. Riley Bennett and Cory Sauve, solar technicians, and managers of the local site met us at the gate with coffee and donuts and a cheque for $1,000 towards the mobility van.

Northland Power is an independent power producer. They develop, finance, build, own and operate power generation facilities in Canada and internationally using wind, natural gas, biomass and solar technology. Northland Power has thirteen solar farms in Ontario; each of which are 10 megawatt.

Cory and Riley look after the five local sites. The Little Rideau Lake Road site consumes 100 acres of land and contains 44,000 solar panels each measuring one by two metres. The wattage of the panels ranges from 275W to 325W. Each panel can produce eight amps at 44 Volts of Direct Current. If you drove up and down between all the panels you would drive 21 km. Each site can generate enough power to meet the needs of approximately 1,600 households.

Cory and Riley expertly explained how the facility converts sunlight into usable power and answered a host of other questions such as how they remove the snow from the panels. If there is two inches of snow or less, the panels will generate enough power to melt the snow, thus enabling it to slide off the panel. This happens quickly once a water slick is created underneath the snow cover, which is caused by the sun penetrating the snow to generate power in the panels, thereby producing heat that melts the snow.

This year, Northland plans on removing the snow from the panels by using a rotating mechanical brush mounted on a tractor and a blower unit that blows air through a blade riding on the panels.

Another question asked was: Could the solar modules withstand hailstorms? Under standard test conditions, the panels will withstand hail up to one inch in diameter, travelling at 50 miles per hour. I was surprised to learn that the panels are very productive on a cold, clear and sunny January day. They are more efficient in a cooler climate. It was an informative visit and we appreciate the generous contribution that Northland Power has given to the Westport Lions Club.

October was another busy month for the Club. Don Baker and his crew of helpers brought in the swimming buoys, put the picnic tables in storage and got the beach property ready for the winter season.

Lions Jim McGlade, Don Baker, Jim Scala, Heather Huth and George Jones assisted by community volunteers Barb Fritz, Jen McAra and Alyssa McEachnie conducted vision screening at the local elementary schools. The team screened a total of 66 students between the two schools and nine students were identified for follow up testing by an optometrist.

On Halloween night, the Club will give out candy to all the little goblins in front of Cottage Country on Church Street.

Our fall distributions of funds will take place at our November 14th meeting. If you have not submitted a request, you should email your request as soon as possible to (westportontariolions@gmail.com) or send it to Westport Lions Club, Box 428, Westport, ON K0G 1X0. Make sure you indicate what the funds will be used for, the amount of money you need, and your contact information.

 


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