Polydôme – Varennes


January 2021 to December 2021


The Varennes Polydôme: a bright and responsible project.
La ville de The city of Varennes inaugurated last winter (in December 2021) its spectacular outdoor skating rink with roof. It is the first covered outdoor ice surface for skating and hockey in the region.

The Polydôme: A solar and mechanical engineering challenge.
Rematek was directly involved in this project so that the lighting system illuminating the rink in the evening would come from 100% renewable energy (60 solar panels producing more than 30,000 kWh per year). Thus, we implemented a solar photovoltaic system that produces energy during the day and stores it in a 57kWh energy storage system sufficient to power the rink’s lighting all evening via a state-of-the-art nanogrid.


Safety and resistance to weather, snow and extreme winds.
The installation of 60 solar panels measuring 2 square meters each – tilted towards the sun on a wooden roof only 2 inches thick – required a very specific analysis of the necessary anchoring. With our partner OPSUN (from Quebec City) we were able to meet the mechanical challenge of securing the panels to the roof. The analysis allowed us to identify the anchoring methods and the number of screws required to optimize resistance to the elements involved. With so much damage caused by increasingly violent storms, it is important to design solar systems that are prepared to withstand extreme winds.

Of course, the need for energy is greater in winter, so it is essential to design a system capable of maximizing energy production during this cold season when we experience a low number of hours of sunlight combined with a significant accumulation of snow. To optimize performance, we used the latest technology in bifacial solar panels. These panels allow the snow to melt quickly thanks to the reflections of the light that bounces off the roof and is absorbed by the back of the panels. Not only does this produce electricity while the panel is covered in snow, but it also warms the panel, allowing the snow to slide off efficiently.

The City of Varennes, a leader in renewable energy projects. We know that the demand for electricity will grow strongly in the coming years. We also know that Hydro Quebec is trying to fill the gaps (expected as early as 2026) between anticipated consumption and its capacity to produce sufficient energy (ref.: Hydro Quebec’s 2023-2032 supply plan). It is therefore more and more important to resort, as of today, to different sources of renewable energy in order to offset the increase in future demand.

Remember that this growth in demand is part of the energy transition. We want to replace all fossil fuel sources with a clean energy source such as our electricity (e.g. the transition from gas to electric vehicles). It is through responsible actions such as the implementation of solar systems and the use of wind energy systems that the energy balance will be maintained (ref: Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) statement).


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