By March 2009, Mondial’s board of
directors wanted to take the company
public. Winch didn’t believe the deal
could be sold, and left the company. “I
jumped on a plane with my sons and
went diving in Bonaire, in the Netherlands Antilles,” he said.
Within a year, Mondial was sold to
Glenbarra Energy Management Corp., a
major developer of large solar projects.
Meanwhile, Winch has become a
major shareholder, and a board mem-
ber, at SunReports, which makes remote
monitoring systems for large solar ther-
mal installations. “Third-party monitoring is key-
stone for everyone in the industry to get comfort-
able with what the system can do,” he said. “The
installer needs to show that the system is doing
105 percent of what was promised, or fix a low-
performance issue before the building owner gets
the utility bill.”
Winch still lives in Toronto, though he’ll
spend a big part of this summer trekking in Peru
with his sons. He’s delighted with the success of
Mondial, now a unit of Glenbarra
Energy, developed this 92-panel water-heating system for Toronto’s 800-bed
Hospital for Sick Children.
Ontario’s feed-in tariff program in stimulating an
explosion of PV manufacturing and installation,
but wishes solar thermal had been included.
“The challenge for solar thermal has always
been communication,” Winch said. “Generating
heat is less sexy than generating electricity. Every-
one has grown up with metering for electricity,
so that’s well-understood. But metering heat?
Who does that? There’s no grid for heat. It was
a stretch to convince people that a thermal PPA
was valid, and we couldn’t convince the
government that it was worth a feed-in
He’s convinced, however, that the
thermal PPA model has a bright future.
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.