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Saint-Laurent to install solar panels on 'our most underutilized asset': industrial rooftops

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Tommy Douglas Collegiate. (Ashley Field/CTV Saskatoon) Solar panels have been installed on the roof of Tommy Douglas Collegiate. (Ashley Field/CTV Saskatoon)

Hydro-Québec is keen to have local shared energy networks and plans to help install solar panels, the Crown corporation announced last week.

One Montreal borough is getting a head start on that vision by unveiling plans to create the province's largest solar park and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I've always felt that our roofs are our most underutilized assets in our community," said Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa.

He says Saint-Laurent has 4.5 million square metres of rooftops -- equivalent to roughly 850 soccer fields.

He envisions installing solar panels on these spaces to generate clean and renewable energy.

"That's a lot. It's enough to generate the equivalency to heat 24,000 homes," he told CTV News.

On Thursday, the mayor announced the borough's plan to create a solar park on industrial rooftops.

The project was considered in 2018, but DeSousa says the timing wasn't right. Now that energy is in high demand across Quebec, it's ready to be rolled out.

"We think we can contribute to clean energy which is what everyone is looking for," DeSousa explained.

Beyond energy, DeSousa claims the project, which he says is the first of it's kind in Quebec, will create economic development opportunities.

His phone has not stopped ringing since the announcement. Dozens of companies have expressed interest.

"Oh my gosh. Finally we have a leader who wants to join our efforts," said Mike Perrault, Rematek Energie president.

Rematek Energie is a solar panel distributor based in Saint-Laurent. According to Perrault, the company will help lead the solar power energy project.

"It's one of very few technologies that allows us to produce energy, where it's consumed, right on the building," said Perrault.

Saint-Laurent's city hall already has solar panels on its roof. More are expected to pop up throughout the borough, as the project will see the light of day over the next five years. Top Stories

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