Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

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ADDED Wednesday Sep 3rd - 2014

Why put a Roof Over a Solar Panel?

A resident through Twitter asked about why a solar powered parking meter would be covered over? Specifically the one in the MacDonell Parking lot downtown. I sent the question into staff and here's the answer:


Good Afternoon Cam,

Sorry about not getting back to this morning but was at an off-site meeting first thing.

As to the question posed as to " why the city has an enclosed structure over the parking meter that is solar powered in that lot?", please find the following response.

There are currently 3 solar powered pay and display machines located with the downtown in our off-street parking facilities; namely the MacDonell lot, Wilson Lot and the now 2 year old Wyndham Lot. The MacDonell and Wilson lots had pre-existing structures where the old pay and display machines were located. As the structures served a dual purpose of providing shelter for our customers to inclement weather conditions when paying and provided a passive protection to the machines themselves, we wished to see if we could maintain the structures rather than spending the funds to dismantle and have removed.

When we purchased the new solar powered units for these locations we asked the manufacturer if it there would  be an issue with the operation of the units if light from the sun was blocked from directly above as in the MacDonell lot. It was indicated to us that with a slight adjustment to where the solar panels faced, we would obtain enough solar energy to operate the equipment. Case in point, at the MacDonell lot the solar panel has been adjusted to face the clear plastic side panel of the protective structure. At the Wilson lot the solar panel still points upward to the roof of the protective structure but we already had a  roof window (skylight) in place through the original installation. So there was not an issue at this location. The solar powered pay and display machine located at the Wyndham lot was installed without a protective shelter.

I hope this answers the question.


Allister McILveen I Manager, Traffic and Parking Public Works Department Operations, Transit & Emergency Services City of Guelph

519-822-1260 x 2275 I F 519-822-1751
E allister.mcilveen@guelph.ca