Reaping a New Harvest From Fallow Land
Paul Marot, president of Injasuti Developments and president of Virelec, a leading provider of complete solar electric solutions, believed in the power of harnessing the sun’s energy to strengthen the success of Ontario’s agricultural future. With nearly 40 acres of unused land, carving space out to harvest solar became both a possi- bility and an opportunity.
Smart Installers Choose Smart Technology
The combined 1.1MW solar project designed and installed by Virelec is located on adjacent farms: Beaver Creek and Flowerburn Farms. The solar project supplements on-site agricultural activities, enhancing farming revenues.
The Enphase System met the need for web-based, module-level monitoring and diagnostics, along with redundancy and a high level of system uptime. Virelec designers also preferred Enphase because the Enphase M215 microinverters met FIT program Ontario Domestic Content requirements.
“We carefully considered all the inverter options to connect with dual-axis trackers and chose Enphase because we wanted the maximum energy output. With low voltage on the modules and plug-and-play electronics, maintenance is much simpler,” said Phil Insull, development management of Virelec. “Online monitoring enables the investigation of a single microinverter or larger system-wide monitoring. Our designers also recommended Enphase microinverters for their design simplification.”
Providing a Solar Upgrade
The 40-acre property had changed form and function several times before being acquired by Injasuti Developments. Agricultural livestock and crops once inhabited the fields, then, over the years were turned into gravel pits for construction projects. Using the reclaimed gravel pits, Injasuti Development built a new age farm – to harvest both the sun and agriculture. The 575kW arrays make up 10-15 acres, while the rest of the land is used to raise sheep
The two 575kW dual-axis tracker projects are connected to the utility at a medium voltage of 27.6 kV and the energy produced is fed back into the grid through the utility.
After passing its one-year anniversary, the combined 1MW site has neared 2GWh of clean energy production. With increased system uptime and no single point of failure, the sites have exceeded the predicted output of the systems, according to Virelec.