The Power of the Sun

by Kieran Grant, grade 9, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School

Queen’s University in Kingston is one of the leaders in cutting-edge solar panel technology. They have built themselves a strong reputation for being innovative in finding solutions around the energy crisis, mainly solar power instead of fossil fuels. Now they’re looking to put all of their research and hard work into effect. Queen’s University is considering purchasing even more solar panels. Queen’s has been one of the leading universities in Southern Ontario for solar power and has been part of cutting edge research into more renewable resources

Almost all of the students asked to share their opinions supported the decision for more green power instead of burning the more traditional, non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal. They were happy that their university appeared to be taking some initiative and a leadership role. The only objections raised were that Queen’s should be spending the money elsewhere where others say it is needed more, like the renovation of the residences or hiring more staff.The solar panels, if successfully installed, will be split up between two areas; the roofs of the campus and a large plot of ground-mounted panels. The solar panels being placed on the campus roofs will take up almost three quarters of the readily available roof space on Queens’ campus. The ground mounted panels will take up over another80 acres of land, located at the Queen’s University Biology Station (QUBS). However, buying and installing all of these new solar panels won’t exactly be low-cost. This project is expected to cost the university hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to complete from start to finish. The big idea behind this project is to help Queen’s University to reduce its ecological footprint. This move could also cut costs in the long run and attract more publicity in the same move. Kingston residents and Queen’s students appear to approve of this proposal and are waiting to see the outcome.

Either way, it is unclear right now whether planning permission will go through. For it to go through, the Campus Planning and Development Committee would have to agree to it. Even if the committee reviews it and passes it, even more permission will have to be granted. The project will also have to go through the Board of Trustees before any real work can begin. It is anticipated that they are preparing to release their evaluation sometime early in December.

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