Canada's largest solar farm is now producing power in the township of Stone Mills, near Napanee — paving the way for Ontario to become a solar power leader in North America. George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, attended the official opening earlier today. This new green energy supply will help support Ontario's elimination of dirty, coal-fired generation, which is Canada's single largest climate change initiative. With two more large solar projects expected to come on line by the end of 2009, Ontario will join the elite ranks of North America's leaders in installed solar capacity.
First Light Solar Park — currently the largest-scale commercial solar farm operation in Canada — is a joint venture between SkyPower Corp. and SunEdison Canada. With more than 126,000 solar panels spanning across 90 acres, this farm is expected to generate over 10 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable electricity in its first year — enough to power 10,000 households.
Since October 2003, Ontario has added more than 1,200 megawatts of new, renewable generation, including more than 150 solar projects of varying sizes, including residential systems and small arrays on commercial buildings, institutions and schools.
"Ontario is proud of this milestone project and we look forward to more solar success stories because of the Green Energy Act," said Smitherman. "We are committed to getting more green energy online and bringing more green collar jobs to communities across the province."
"We are grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario, the local community, the Ontario Power Authority and Hydro One, which have all helped make First Light a reality," said Kerry Adler, CEO of SkyPower. "Working together, we have developed a progressive model for the delivery of clean, renewable energy in Ontario and look forward to many more exciting projects like this."