Tilbury solar farm completed (con't)
But First Power’s two-phased Sarnia project - the last of which was completed in September – is generating 80 megawatts, making it the biggest such farm in the world.
As for Tilbury, “We’re in a commissioning period right at the moment...we haven’t gone on line yet”, Peter Carrie, the company’s Canadian vice president, says.
Tom Kosnik, former president of Windsor’s Enwin Utilities 2004-2008, is the company’s director of customer relations.
First Solar builds the panels at a plant just outside Toledo Ohio and ships to Canada.
Its approval for the solar farms came under legislation that preceded the Green Energy Act and therefore doesn’t have to source assembly materials from Ontario.
“We have made a decision not to just based on policy uncertainty in the Ontario market place,” Carrie said.
As well, having a plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, “makes it more difficult to consider a new plant in Ontario.”
The company builds panels, then develops and constructs solar farms for customers.
“We generally have a buyer in place prior to starting construction,” Carrie said.
In the case of Sarnia, First Solar sold the property to energy producer Enbridge.
Carrie said the owner of the Tilbury site has yet to be announced.
First Solar is the largest manufacturer of "thin film solar modules," according to the company's web site.
The company is developing several more sites around southwestern Ontario including one along County Rd 10 in Amherstburg, which is expected to be under construction in spring after regulatory approval.
That’s a 195 acre site of which 70 acres will consist of the solar arrays or connected panels with the remaining land a green buffer.
It will be a 10 MW project.
The company is considering other projects in the area.