That takes my breath away. In one of the biggest renewable energy deals in the history of the world, a Korean consortium led by Samsung* has agreed to build 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Samsung C&T and the Ontario government signed the deal on Thursday, January 21st. The agreement will bring thousands of jobs and clean energy for more than half a million homes to Ontario.
Building off of this new deal, Korean trade officials plan to make Ontario their base of operations for all of North American.
Samsung first proposed the deal about a year ago, but Ontario’s Green Energy Act is what seems to have actually moved the proposal to a reality — another reason for clean energy activists in the US to look with puppy dog eyes at the rest of the world as they speed ahead with clean energy (and clean energy jobs) and Americans remain tied to the old bone of dirty technology.
As The New York Times reports, “Under the terms of the agreement, officials said, Samsung must build four manufacturing plants in Ontario, promising 16,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years. The energy generated will be enough for 580,000 homes.”
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be built near an old coal plant that is supposed to be decommissioned by 2014 (near Windsor). Out with the old, in with the new.
Samsungs new manufacturing facilities under this deal (4 manufacturing plants in Ontario) will be producing wind turbine towers, wind blades, solar inverters and solar assembly by 2015.
Now, as Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty, says, “This means Ontario is officially the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America.” With generous subsidies for clean energy production under its new Green Energy Act, many more clean energy developers probably have their eye on Ontario as well.
With a project so big and so close to home, the US may start to take the clean energy and climate change legislation that is currently in the Senate a little more seriously. We will see.
*The other major player in the consortium that signed the deal with the Ontario government is the Korea Electric Power Corporation.
Image Credit 1: ViaMoi via flickr under a CC license
Image Credit 2: kevbo1983 via flickr under a CC license