Feds spending up to $1.1 million to retrofit Toronto ambulances with solar panels

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The federal government will contribute up to $1.1 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to retrofit ambulances and emergency paramedic response units in Toronto.

The plan includes installing solar panels on the roofs of 215 ambulances and more than 60 emergency paramedic response units, to power and recharge critical on-board medical equipment. Funding will also help install a hybrid electric drivetrain system in more than 100 ambulances to save fuel and reduce emissions.

“Canadians expect that their government put a greener economy at the heart of our economic development, and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship.

“This project will help the City of Toronto protect the environment and improve air quality while growing our economy.”

Investments will help the City of Toronto will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to removing approximately 2,900 passenger cars off the road for one year.

ambulance solar panelThe funding comes from the Champions stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money, and create good jobs.

“This investment in our Toronto Paramedic Services will help us in achieving our target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and our goals through the TransformTO plan,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“The city has been working hard to retrofit and modernize the Toronto Paramedic Services, and this new funding will provide much needed support for our City of Toronto Paramedic Service Fleet Retrofit Project.”

Call volumes grow each year and Gord McEachen, acting chief of Toronto Paramedic Services says the retrofits will equip ambulances to lower the use of fossil fuels and reduce air pollutants.

“This investment provides an incredible opportunity to meet some of our long-term sustainability goals and contributes to the city’s TransformTO initiative. Toronto Paramedic Services is greening our fleet to reduce our carbon footprint for the future well-being of all Torontonians, including youth aspiring to be paramedics,” he said.

The solar panels have an estimated life of approximately 20 years; the hybrid electric drivetrain system, about 12 years.

The City of Toronto’s paramedic services is the largest municipal ambulance fleet in Canada. This retrofit project promotes the best-in-class technologies and standards toward a clean-growth community for other Canadian municipalities.

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