Strathroy woman upset, after solar panel sat unused for four years
It was a $100,000 investment in a greener future, but four-years after Rita Van Geffen invested her retirement savings into a ground mount solar panel, she's only now seeing a return and not the kind she was looking for.
In April 2010, Van Geffen invested in a solar panel, which has yet to be connected to the grid.
“It’s doing absolutely nothing. I can't get it connected,” she says. “I believed in green energy and I thought it was a good return on my money.”
She got the green light from the Ontario Power Authority; got the panel installed on her daughter's farm and waited.
“In January of 2011, I received an email saying my panel couldn't be connected because there was no room on the grid.”
Meanwhile just 5 km away from where Van Geffen’s solar panel sits idle, two wind turbines are being installed as part of an 18 turbine wind farm.
“Why can't they hook up a solar panel that I’ve paid for and yet they are going ahead and building the wind turbines?”
It’s a question MPP Monte McNaughton has asked himself several times.
“I’ve had a number of complaints from residents in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex who have paid over a $100,000 for a solar panel and weren't able to get it hooked up to the grid,” says McNaughton.
McNaughton helped her get a refund through the OPA and a co-operative company that will move the panel to another location.