Clean Power

Published on October 11th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Largest Solar Photovoltaic Facility in World Built in Canada

October 11th, 2010 by  

Last week, Enbridge and First Solar announced that the Sarnia Solar Project, an 80-megawatt (MW) solar project in Ontario, Canada was fully installed and commercially operating. Sarnia Solar Project is now the largest operating photovoltaic facility in the world.

The project includes about 1.3 million thin film solar panels from First Solar on about 950 acres of land with an annual yield of about 120,000 MWh.

The First Solar PV solar panels used in the Sarnia Solar Project were “designed to create the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology available” and the project produced no waste. At construction peak, 800 jobs were created by this project.

The facility is expected to create enough power for 12,800 homes. The Ontario Power Authority is buying the power generated from the plant under a 20-year contract. Ontario is happy and proud to be the home of this major solar PV project.

“The Sarnia Solar Project is an example of the kinds of renewable energy projects that have been developed under the Government of Ontario’s Green Energy Act,” said the Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy. “Ontario can now boast the largest solar farm in North America – it is projects like this one that are making us a leader in renewable energy and helping us all move towards a cleaner energy future.”

Enbridge an Energy Leader

Enbridge is a North American energy leader and listed as one of the world’s 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. It has “interests in seven wind farms, a geothermal project, four waste heat recovery facilities and a commercial application of integrated energy recovery and fuel cell technology.”

“Our investments in green energy are an increasingly important part of Enbridge’s business,” said Al Monaco, Executive Vice President, Major Projects and Green Energy, Enbridge Inc. “Over the last year, we added four new projects totaling $1.5 billion, increasing our total green energy investment to $2 billion and establishing a solid platform for attractive and sustainable long-term growth with a risk-return profile consistent with our Liquids Pipelines and natural gas businesses.”

In total, the green energy projects Enbridge has invested in have an energy generating capacity of 850 MW, enough to power about 292,000 homes.

First Solar a Solar Energy Leader

First Solar, which we have written about many times here on Cleantechnica, is a leading solar photovoltaic manufacturer. First Solar developed, engineered, constructed, and will operate and maintain Sarnia Solar Project.

“Completing the world’s largest PV power plant demonstrates the migration of solar PV toward utility scale,” said Frank De Rosa, First Solar’s senior vice president of North American project development. “With this project, we expect to install 145 MW this year in North America.”

Related Stories:
1) First Solar and China to Partner on Gigantic Solar Power Plant
2) Thin-Film Solar Panels to Double their Share of the Market by 2013?
3) Solar Giant — First Solar — Exceeding Wall Street Expectations, & More

Top Photo Credit: Sangria Solar Project via Enbridge Inc.

Bottom Photo Credit: (from left to right) Al Monaco, Enbridge Executive Vice President, Major Projects and Green Energy; the Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Energy Minister; Maria Van Bommell, MPP; and Frank De Rosa, Senior Vice President of Project Development, North America, celebrate the grand opening of the Sarnia Solar Project in Sarnia, Ontario, Monday, October 4, 2010. MARKETWIRE PHOTO/Enbridge Inc.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Pingback: Canadian Solar Headed to China to Build Two 600-MW Solar Technology Plants – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views()

  • Installing these panels on rooftops would have been fairly good.
    It could have saved land, plus the home owner would have got some exposure about solar & its benefits.

    You see thats two birds in one stone..

    • yeah. i guess the issue is that is just much more time-consuming and complicated. but agreed

  • There’s always room for improvement, but I think we can all agree this is a fantastic development for Canada and for solar in general. Cheers from Guelph.

  • That is the key, making it more affordable and cost effective for homeowners. We need greater tax incentives from the government.

  • This is awesome!
    We are so excited for organizing the greenest music festival in BC with lots of free workshops about sustainable and green life style for communities, in July 2011.
    We would love to spread the word and share our resources with all the local, national and international institutes and organisations, as much as possible. We need help and are looking for sharing our joy with whoever is interested.

  • @Jon_K: good question/comment.. it really is a shame we can’t seem to get more up on roofs

  • Jon_K

    Very impressive.

    How is it, though, that we manage to build this beautiful 950 acre installation instead of putting those 1.3 million (yikes) panels on thousands of roofs? Then we wouldn’t need to ship the power hither and yon.

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