Sunningdale 1 is a 7-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (solar PV) facility located in the municipality of Thames Centre, northeast of London, Ontario. Completed in nine months, construction highlights include excavation of the substation area for footings and foundations; construction of the substation and control house; installing of culverts across ditches to the public roadways; and installation of panels, transformers, inverters, and cabling; as well as testing and commissioning.
The project consists of more than 34,000 solar PV modules that generate direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to sunlight. The solar panel arrays are mounted off the ground in rows with a fixed tilt angle to the south to catch the sun’s rays. Energy stored by the panels is collected through underground cabling by inverter/transformer pairs, which convert DC electricity to alternating current (AC) at a specific voltage. The AC current then continues from the inverters to a single main facility substation where the main power transformer increases the voltage to suit the electricity distribution grid.
Delivered under Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff program, operation of this project is expected to produce approximately 9.6 million kWh of electricity per year, enough to power approximately 800 average homes. More than 60 percent of the materials for this project were made in or sourced from Ontario.