Ontario to Build 40 MW Solar Farm, through SOP

Ontario’s electricity grid will soon get a boost from 14 new renewable energy projects — including the recently announced 40 megawatts (MW) solar farm — awarded through the country’s Standard Offer Program (SOP), according to Canada’s Energy Minister Dwight Duncan.

Slated to be one of the world’s largest solar farms, OptiSolar Farms will install more than one million ground-mounted solar panels to convert solar power into electricity. Planned for Sarnia, this project will comprise four solar farms and contribute 40 MW to the grid by 2010. “The Ontario government has chosen to take a world-leading role in encouraging the development of renewable energy, and the Standard Offer Program is making things happen,” said OptiSolar Farms vice-president Peter Carrie. “Our goal is to make solar power a mainstream energy source.” The announcement brings to 36 the number of projects awarded under the SOP since February. Taken together, these projects will generate 250 MW of renewable energy. The projects include two residential-sized solar photovoltaic installations, several 10-MW wind farms and two waterpower projects with First Nations participation. The Gitchi Animki Bezhig project will produce more than 8 MW of electricity; the Gitchi Animki Niizh project will produce 9.9 MW. All of the contracted projects are expected to be in service by 2010. Ontario’s Renewable Standard Offer Program is the largest of its kind in North America and is expected to add 1,000 MW of clean energy to the grid over the next 10 years. “The Standard Offer Program is transforming the way we generate electricity in Ontario,” said Duncan.

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