Solar farms in Ontario begin their 20 year harvest

Hamilton%2C%20Tyler45X64.jpgPosted by Tyler Hamilton
Toronto-based renewable-energy developer SkyPower Corp., along with joint-venture partner SunEdison, formally announced the activation and grid connection [Friday last] Solar%20%28SkyPower%29186X128.jpgof a 9.1 megawatt solar park near the tiny Ontario town of Stone Mills. Their project, called First Light I, becomes the first multimegawatt-scale solar park in Canada to go live. Two more phases are in the works — First Light II and First Light III — which will add 7.8 MW and 10 MW, respectively.
First Light I takes up 90 acres, equivalent to 50 Canadian football fields (i.e. they’re larger than those pansy NFL fields). All three phases totalling about 26 MW will cover 290 acres and be composed of 130,000 solar panels. These projects are backed by 20-year power purchase contracts obtained under Ontario’s former Renewable-Energy Standard Offer Program, or RESOP. That means the companies can sell power from the projects into the Ontario grid at 42 cents (Canadian) per kilowatt-hour. And because it’s not under the new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, it doesn’t have to comply with new local content rules.
First Solar and EDF are in similar situations under the RESOP — 42 cents and no local content restrictions. EDF started construction in June of its 23.4 MW project in Arnprior, Ontario (near Ottawa), while First Solar (which acquired the Ontario project pipeline from OptiSolar earlier this year) has been busy in Sarnia with more than 10 megawatts already installed. Click here to read more of Tyler's post.

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