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Town of Midland: Solar Powered School Zone Flashing Systems

Municipality

Situated at the southern end of Georgian Bay's 30,000 Islands, Midland is the economic centre of the region, with a 125-bed hospital and a local airport (Midland/Huronia Airport). It has a year-round population of 17,000, but during the summer months, the area's population grows to over 100,000, hosting seasonal visitors to more than 8,000 cottages, resort hotels, provincial and national parks in the surrounding municipalities.

Project Name and Description

In order to reduce energy use and minimize the Town's greenhouse gas (GHG) contribution, the Public Works Department recommended the installation of six (6) Solar Powered School Zone Maximum Speed Limit Flashing System within the Town. This project was initiated in 2014, with the completion of all six (6) installs in 2015. The system can run up to eight (8) hours per day for five (5) consecutive days, and the panels have a 25 year warranty.

Each solar system is comprised of a 120-watt assembly with a 120-watt solar module. The solar module has a minimum peak output of 7.10 amperes at 16.9 volts (based upon test conditions). The solar module is wired to provide a minimum 7.0 amperes of solar array charging under full sunlight conditions. The module is pole-top mounted with a fixed-tilt mounting structure set at angle of 65 degrees. The system includes two (2) valve-regulated, lead-acid (VRLA) batteries to provide energy during cloudy weather. The unit is also outfitted with a system timer module. The system timer is an LCD display with a 48 hour capacity backup which allows the Town to set exception periods (i.e., weekends and holidays).

  • Eighth St. @ Ottawa St.
  • Eighth St. @ Montreal St.
  • Penetanguishene Rd. @ Howard St.
  • Penetanguishene Rd. @ Victoria St.
  • Robert St. @ Nelson St.
  • Robert St. @ Manly St.

Click Here to View of Map of these Locations

Project Contact (Staff)

Jamie Galloway, Town Engineer, P.Eng, LEED AP

P: 705.526.4275 x.2267

E: jgalloway@midland.ca

Date of Implementation

Spring 2014

Project Goals

Midland is committed to achieving an annual 1% reduction in energy use as defined in their 5 Year Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (July, 2014). This project helps the Town reach that target. To read the Town’s Conservation and Demand Management Plan, click here.

List of Key Stakeholders

  • Larger community
  • Schools and school boards

Drivers/Champion

What was the municipalities’ main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?)

This project aligns with the Severn Sound Sustainability Plan recommendation to ‘reduce consumption of natural resources – specifically energy consumption; through the development of alternative energy plans that consider using solar, wind and geothermal sources.

The project was put forward by the Public Works Department, and supported by the Engineering/Public Works General Committee, chaired in 2014 by Deputy Mayor Stephen Kramp.

Financial Considerations

The tender for the project was awarded to Walker’s Electric 2000 with a bid of $47,249.00, which included the supply and installation of six (6) Solar Powered School Zone Maximum Speed When Flashing Sign systems. In total, four (4) bids were received, with the lowest as the accepted bid, and the highest at $64,030.00.

The Town utilized a portion of the 2014 LED Streetlight Upgrade budget to fund the project, which resulted in a small reduction of the LED upgrade work completed in 2014.

Measures of Success/Impacts

How has the project helped your municipality or department achieve its sustainability goals? What specific metrics can you share about the impact it has had?

  • 300+ Watts of Electricity Removed from the Grid Annually*
  • 465 Pounds per Year of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Avoided**
Based on Measures from the City Operation Plan for Hillesboro, Oregon
**Estimated, but based on the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Project Rationale (Summary)

Why would you encourage other municipalities to adopt/implement a similar practice?

No matter how large or small your community is, zone flashers are required to keep all pedestrians safe, and especially children. The beacons are used to help warn vehicular traffic they are entering an area requiring extra caution and care. In areas where power is available or too expensive to install, solar power can provide a reliable power source with no monthly power bill, while also limiting the environmental impact of operations by reducing non-renewable energy use.

Municipal Contact Information

The Town of Midland

575 Dominion Avenue

Midland, ON L4R 1R2

P: 705.526.4275

W: www.midland.ca

Document Link or Attachment

School Zone Tender Document

School Zone Tender Summary

Type of Case Study

☐Education and Outreach

☐Policy Adjustment or Development

☐Partnerships & Collaboration

☐Enforcements & Incentives

☐Implementation of Programs & Services

☒Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

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575 Dominion Avenue
Midland, Ontario, L4R 1R2