Written by: Christian Lobo
The AEE Canada East chapter was pleased to host an event on the topic of building-integrated
photovoltaics (BIPV) technology on September 24, 2021. As part of our mission to provide our regional
energy management and sustainability community with a platform to grow, we are grateful to Emelie
Reis of Mitrex for the informative webinar and the engaging technical discussions that followed.
Below are a few of the key takeaways from this presentation that our chapter found particularly
- Solar-integrated technology offered by Canadian companies is becoming more cost-effective. According to Mitrex, the rate of BIPV adoption is steadily increasing with new installations popping up in Ottawa, Toronto, and surrounding areas.
- There are a wide variety of aesthetic options available for incorporating BIPV into buildings of various sectors such as mixed-use residential, commercial, healthcare, and agricultural. Some of the products currently on the market have near-seamless integration. Many of us may have seen a BIPV installation in our own communities without realizing it!
- According to Mitrex, 10,000 sqft. of solar cladding can produce 2.4 million kWh over a 30-year period, which will also contribute to the building’s GHG emissions savings. Additionally, the initial cost is partially offset by Federal tax credits and other incentives.
- There are 30-year BIPV power agreements available where the initial cost is shared by the manufacturer and building owner, and the energy generated is sold to the building at around $0.03/kWh under utility rates. The manufacturer would then provide maintenance for the BIPV systems over the 30 year period.
- Turnkey services are also available to building owners and facility managers with the intent of simplifying their adoption of BIPV technologies. These turnkey services provide additional assurances that BIPV systems are properly designed, installed, and commissioned with the manufacturer engaged throughout the entire process.
- The panelist was asked whether BIPV is more prominent in retrofits vs. new construction. It was mentioned that for retrofits, BIPV will typically only be considered by facility owners and managers when there is already an upcoming building envelope upgrade that is slated to occur. This is the scenario, other than for new construction, where the cost-benefit analysis over the product’s lifetime yields its greatest value over a conventional building envelope.
If you’d like to watch or re-watch the webinar, you can access it through our events page.