Recently in Commercial Category

Here's an exciting project developed by a grass roots community energy co-operative: Community Power Northumberland. It's 3 separate systems spread over 4 buildings totalling over 1MW of solar!

While most of our work is 'turn-key', meaning we are responsible for the entire project, we also offer a variety of other services including engineering, commissioning, and construction. Here we're the constructor working for a general contractor, Solarize Energy LP.

A local reporter dropped by for an update; it hit the front page of the local paper. Here's the article.

Baltimore Arena Project Under Construction
I was a great relief to find Generation Solar, after having numerous unpleasant dealings with my initial installer. Their responsiveness and professionalism were top notch. They represented me in dealings with my equipment manufacturer over a warranty issue and produced results that I don't feel I could have on my own. Most importantly, they did what they said they would and kept me informed every step of the way. I would not hesitate recommending Generation Solar and look forward to a continued relationship with them.
I just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the system you and your team installed. Things have been running great. Checking the inverter for the daily output has been part of my routine, and I enjoy counting the kW. Thanks so much for all the work, professionalism and guidance on this project. You and your team are great.
Wanted you to know that Jackson and Geordie were Amazing and very helpful, hard working in the heat. They did an Awesome job and were very tidy, a hot weather bonus is probably in order though they did say they love working for you.
Again, we very much appreciate your generosity in taking time to help us out. If you ever need testimonials, don't hesitate to contact us, we would contribute high praise of your firm and the competence of both you and JP.
Thanks for your dedication & leading experience.
Yesterday, we had the worst wind storm off the lake we have ever seen here - lots of tree limbs down and an entire tree across the street was uprooted and landed on our neighbour's house. Wind gusts in excess of 100 km, easily. As you know our property gets the unsheltered brunt of wind off the lake, but the solar system was fine. Thanks for making the system secure against high winds!
Communication was key and G.S. was excellent at keeping in touch. I would highly recommend the company. They were prompt and professional. Thank you.
Very helpful people -- excellent service all around!.
Hi Simon, I just wanted to say officially that it was a pleasure having the guys here. They worked steady and were always friendly and pleasant. The job looks great. The alignment on the panels, which I can imagine would be extremely difficult to keep nice and straight, looks great. The wiring, conduit and layout of the inverters and boxes is very neat as well as the stuff on the pole. And they cleaned up after themselves at the end of it all.
Nice job and good bunch of guys too!
They always called ahead and explained what they were doing.
Their accessibility, personability, professionalism, honesty and their ability to complete the work on time with the pressure on. Wish we has more sub trades like this.

Generation Solar is owned by 2 people: JP Pawliw and Simon Boone. You can read about us on this website; just go to About Us and you see a bit about us and what we believe in. Do you want to talk to us? No problem. Just give us a call: 705 741 1700. You can ask to speak to either of us.

We feel it's important that you know who we are and have direct access to us. After all, you're hiring us and counting on us to get the job done right.

Have a look at other solar company websites. Who are you hiring? Who's responsible? Who do you call if you have a question or concern? Many websites don't even have an About Us page. Why not? In this day an age it's getting harder and harder to find authenticity on the web; how can you be confident that information presented on a webpage is authentic if the owner of the site doesn't even identify him or herself?

Of course making a person to person connection with individuals at a large company is tough; there are many many people, roles and staff shift and change, there may be many owners (other companies, even) who aren't involved at all in the daily business of the company.

If you want personal service you have to have a relationship with another person, a person who will listen to your needs and work to address them. You can't have a relationship with a web site or a phone number or even a '24 hour customer support desk'. A relationship with a sales person that ends once a contract is signed, to be passed onto another department, doesn't work either.

So when shopping for a contractor (solar or any other type) consider carefully just who you'll be working with and whether or not you foresee a constructive working relationship with that person. And don't commit to that contractor until you feel good about working with the people.

See also some tips on hiring a contractor.

Here are some customer comments about our people that make us proud:

  • "I just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the system you and your team installed. Things have been running great. Checking the inverter for the daily output has been part of my routine, and I enjoy counting the kW. Thanks so much for all the work, professionalism and guidance on this project. You and your team are great."
  • "Wanted you to know that Jackson and Geordie were Amazing and very helpful, hard working in the heat. They did an Awesome job and were very tidy, a hot weather bonus is probably in order though they did say they love working for you."
  • "Again, we very much appreciate your generosity in taking time to help us out. If you ever need testimonials, don't hesitate to contact us, we would contribute high praise of your firm and the competence of both you and JP."

pan_fit_rooftop_solar_workers.jpg

Here's another great example of multi-use agricultural buildings. This storage barn was built with large sliding doors all along the North side, allowing incredible access for implement storage. On the roof is a 100kW FIT solar energy system. The array is actually 125kW of Heliene PV modules. An array of 20 SMA string inverters ensures a high degree of reliability and serviceability: replacement inverters, should one every be required, are readily available within a couple days.

A lovely scene.

New FIT and MicroFIT price schedule:

FIT rates fall 2013 ontario solar microfit.jpg

Domestic content requirements have been reduced such that the only requirement is for an Ontario company to do your installation. Naturally, we'd like that to be Generation Solar! As a result of these lower domestic content requirements, system costs have come down, thereby preserving the return on investment at the new price schedule rates.

So give us a call and we can discuss a solar project for your home or business.

flat roof microfit solar ontario whitby pv polar racking silfab.jpg

These two barns are in great shape and have had a productive life servicing an active horse operation. Adding solar was a natural choice for the owner. Fitting all the desired solar onto the barn roofs was not easy, so the owner, a qualified mechanical engineer, designed his own custom racking system with our help. The resulting array actually overhangs the roof peak on both barns. This is normally not a recommended method to mount a solar array, but in this case the mounting method was supported with appropriate engineering.

This is another example of multiple smaller string inverters chosen to maximize serviceability and minimize down time in the event of a failure: a vote for long term reliability.

Wiring from the PV combiners was buried under the horse riding ring as well as through the barnyard.

The system is equipped with full weather monitoring for tracking performance against expectation.

retrofit solar barn installation

Here's another great example of multi-use agricultural buildings. These two barns host a mix of storage, future livestock, and a 250kW FIT solar energy system. The array is actually over 300kW of Conergy PV modules. As the system was split between the two buildings, we opted for an array of 25 10kW inverters feeding a 600VAC 3 phase farm service. The multiple smaller inverters (as opposed to one 250kW unit, or 2 125kW units) give the owner a much higher degree of reliability and serviceability: there's a spare on site and, should a failure happen, only 1 of 25 inverters goes down rather than the whole project going off line.

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Rock Lake is a seasonal use facility in Algonquin Provincial Park. As such it has a variety of hot water demands, depending on the season. Full campgrounds demand a lot of hot water in the summer months but in winter the building is completely drained of water and shut down. Then there is spring and fall when the campground may not be full during the week and demand is less than average. This varied hot water demand presents some interesting challenges.

Contrary to common belief, the biggest challenge with any commercial solar hot water system is to avoid overheating, not under heating. Over heating causes excessive wear on parts and accelerates the degradation of the heat transfer fluid.

The second biggest challenge is to not over burden maintenance staff with additional annual service requirements from the system. In every commercial facility, the maintenance staff have plenty to do without the solar thermal system imposing onerous tasks on their monthly or annual schedule. If the tasks are onerous there is a good chance they might not get done.

At Rock Lake, we designed a system for all seasons:

A custom designed, closed loop solar water heating system with a heat dump circuit.

Here's how it works:

In the spring and fall when the campground is running at less than full occupancy we also have less sunlight hours. This works well most of the time, but there is still a significant chance of over heating because of low hot water demand and unseasonably sunny weather. During this time of year, the system controller prioritizes heating the water. When the tanks are full, excess heat goes to a dump load.

In the winter, when there is no demand for hot water and the building is shut down and drained of all water, a sensor sends a signal to the controller to tell it to send all the solar heat to the dump load. Our dump load is a bank of radiators. The radiators are located in the basement of the building where they can heat the building. When the water is back on in the spring the system automatically reverts back to normal operation (prioritizing hot water first and heat second).

During the summer the system really shines. In fact, the system was sized specifically for summer campground peak load. In this way, the need to dump heat to the basement, in summer, is minimized. Which is good because nobody likes a hot building in summer.

The key to this system is not just the dump load, but the custom controls to make it all work efficiently in a way that is easy for the park staff to deal with. The last thing any maintenance staff person needs is to spend a lot of time taking care of yet another system. With this system, there is no additional attention required during fall shut down or spring start up. The controls react to the job - not the other way around.

It has been a great pleasure working with you, the project has gone very smoothly. We are very pleased and we look forward to continuing our relationship with you over the next 20 years as we generate power.
I was a great relief to find Generation Solar, after having numerous unpleasant dealings with my initial installer. Their responsiveness and professionalism were top notch. They represented me in dealings with my equipment manufacturer over a warranty issue and produced results that I don't feel I could have on my own. Most importantly, they did what they said they would and kept me informed every step of the way. I would not hesitate recommending Generation Solar and look forward to a continued relationship with them.
I just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the system you and your team installed. Things have been running great. Checking the inverter for the daily output has been part of my routine, and I enjoy counting the kW. Thanks so much for all the work, professionalism and guidance on this project. You and your team are great.
Wanted you to know that Jackson and Geordie were Amazing and very helpful, hard working in the heat. They did an Awesome job and were very tidy, a hot weather bonus is probably in order though they did say they love working for you.

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