Building Integrated Photo Voltaic - A Promising Future

I first wrote about BIPV ten years ago in Outpost Magazine. I finished my article with "imagine the south facing facade of every high-rise in your city covered with solar panels generating enough energy to offset the building's air conditioning use."

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion about building integrated PV with industry leaders. The conversation is hosted by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the City of Toronto, the CaGBC Toronto Chapter, the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Please consider joining the call, it promises to be a great conversation offering a glimpse of the future of building and building retrofits with Building Integrated Solar.

OSEA Webinar Series: Exploring Building-Integrated Photovoltaic for Ontario
Thursday, May 10; 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Online Webinar. Access information provided upon registration.


This webinar explores the technical and FIT program challenges that the development of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) faces in Ontario. The webinar will further identify how the solar industry can link in more closely with the building design and construction process to promote BIPV.

This webinar is highly recommended for architects, developers, policy makers and innovators.



Introduction to the session by Rob McMonagle, City of Toronto

Rob McMonagle-2008_1.jpgRob McMonagle has been in the sustainable energy industry since 1979 when he founded one of Canada's first solar companies, Prometheus Energy.  Rob was the Executive Director of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) from 2002-2006.  In 2007 Rob was hired by the City of Toronto to develop the City's Sustainable Energy Plan and was responsible for many of Toronto's renewable energy initiatives such as the Toronto Solar Neighbourhoods Initiative and the Renewable Energy Bylaw. He is currently a senior advisor with the City's Economic Development & Culture division where he is the lead in the development of the green industry sector in the city.

Rob has served on the board on numerous renewable energy organizations and committees at the local, national and international level.

Rob received the Solar Leader Award in 2007 from CanSIA for his pioneering work in founding and growing the solar industry in Canada and the Urban Power Leader award from the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association in 2010.


Bill Wong, SAIC
SAIC is in the process of completing an NRCan study on "Review of BIPV technologies and R&D gaps and opportunities for Canada's solar industry". Find out about the outcome of the study first. OSEA and the City of Toronto hope to make a copy of the report available closer to the event.  


David head shot.JPGDavid Nixon, Kortright
Kortright has done a number of BIPV project evaluations for the SolarCity Technology Assessment Partnership and will present on the challenges they have identified in the process of these evaluations and explore ways to overcome them.

David Nixon is the Sustainable Technologies Monitoring Coordinator for the Sustainable Technology Evaluation Program with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. In this position David monitors and evaluates the performance of sustainable energy systems for the S.T.E.P program and other municipal partners. He is also involved with the Renewable energy training program at the Kortright Centre for Conservation. In this role David is involved in the design and implementation of training workshops for several community colleges, and universities as well as the Canadian Solar Industry Association, Local 53 of the Electrician's union and programming for the Kortright's home and cottage public education programs. Prior to working at Kortright David has worked for over 15 years in the solar industry. This eclectic career included, installing on and off grid wind and PV systems, residential and commercial solar hot water systems, the design and manufacturing of plug and play PV systems, renewable energy equipment distribution, design and manufacture of CSA listed solar electric equipment and was involved with a laboratory that was conducting PV cell research. Recently David has been involved in chairing CSA TSC F900, PV roof top installation best practices guide.



Jim MacDougall, Ryerson University


Mr. MacDougall was the author of the "Barriers Facing BIPV in the FiT Program" report, which the City commissioned.

Download a copy of the report "Barriers Facing BIPV in the FIT Program" here. (PDF)

Jim MacDougall has recently joined Ryerson's  Centre for Urban Energy as a Distinguished Research Fellow and is a professional engineer with over 20 years' experience in the energy sector.  This role complements his current consulting capacity at Compass Renewables.

Most recently, he spent over five years at the Ontario Power Authority developing and launching the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program and more recently the Feed-in Tariff Program.  

Prior professional experience includes:

  • The Ontario Energy Board as Market Compliance Manager, to ensure electricity and gas market participant compliance with regulatory Codes and Rules;
  • Toronto Hydro Energy Services as, Marketing Manager in the development and delivery of energy retailing offers and customer energy service solutions;
  • The Ontario Ministry of Energy as Policy Advisor developing options for market deregulation;
  • and Consulting overseas in Eritrea in East Africa and Sierra Leone in and West Africa creating training programs in for solar water pumping and water heating deployment.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours, Electrical Engineering, 1981-1985 from his Alma Mater at Queen's University.  In 2010 he was awarded the CanSIA Solar Public Servant of the Year.  He has a love for team sports and travel, and of course his family where he is significantly out-numbered by his spouse and three daughters!


Livio Picture.jpgLivio Nichilo,P.Eng

Livio will talk about his first hand experiences of installing and connecting a BIPV system in Ontario.  He can also discuss how the market for BIPV is functioning in international jurisdictions through the experiences of his colleagues located in France and China.  

Livio Nichilo is Engineering Manager at Interenat Energy Solutions Canada and has been working with his colleagues and partners to facilitate the local development of BIPV in Canada.  Having been trained and brought into the industry through a European context, Livio is aware of the issues and challenges that can arise with BIPV but also the potential it has in revolutionizing the concept of building envelopes.  Glazing technology developments have allowed Livio to provide improved energy conservation along with generation for his current projects.     

Livio has Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University (2003) and completing in the summer of 2012 a Master of Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is a holder of a Professional Engineer license in the province of Ontario.


hris Chopik-97FINAL.jpgChris Chopik ( is a trusted writer, speaker and leader. A career in sales and communications combined with a passion for technology and the environment contribute to Chris' unique framework for profitable thinking about sustainability. Chris' recent pioneering work in the green real estate marketplace have provided a strong understanding of the confluence of issues facing the economy and ecology that underpin our quality of life.

Chris offers dynamic perspectives of conventional business challenges in the hyper-evolutionary space of sustainability, energy-efficiency, and commercialization. Chris consults with many organizations to overcome obstacles, achieve commercialization milestones, and to tackle emerging markets. (


This is part of a larger event series with supplementary events organized by the Canadian Green Building Council - Toronto Chapter and the Canadian German Chamber of Commerce and Industries all supported by the City of Toronto.

Details about the other events are as follows:

March 28: [Workshop] Building Integrated PV Example [waiting for official name] Canadian Green Building Council - Greater Toronto Chapter

Tour a local example of BIPV at the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront and learn more about why BIPV was chosen and the challenges that the project developers faced in implementing this project.



April 19: [Workshop] Building Integrated PV - Understanding the Opportunities for the Building Industry
Part of the 5th Canadian German Conference of Solar PV, Canadian German Chamber of Commerce and Industries

Learn more about BIPV from international experiences and what the opportunities are in Canada.



December 2012: [Roundtable] Development of a BIPV Industry Strategy for Ontario

Held just prior to CanSIA's conference in December this roundtable will bring together leaders in the solar industry with leading architects, engineers and building developers to identify how we can begin the process of integrating the use of PV into standard building design and construction practices.

Participation in the roundtable is limited - to indicate your interest in attending or participating please email

Details: TBA

Thank you to our sponsors and partners:




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Related Links

This site is currently under construction but will be available soon.

Related Downloadable Files
Adobe Acrobat BIPV Event Series Overview
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Adobe Acrobat Report: Barriers Facing BIPV in the FIT Program
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