Canadian Solar & Opsun To Build Solar Panel Manufacturing Facility in Ontario

The Ontario, Canada solar market is heating up as companies line up to take advantage of the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT). Qualifying for the FIT requires that the majority of a solar system be domestically produced and as a result manufacturers are moving into the province in droves. Already, Sustainable Energy Technologies and Satcon have said they will manufacture inverters in Ontario and now Canadian Solar and Opsun are getting ready to panel manufacturing facilities in the province.

Canadian Solar is starting the site selection and approvals process to establish a 200-megawatt (MW) module manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Solar has recently submitted a significant number of FIT applications to Ontario Power Authority and has also received considerable customer interest for “Made in Ontario” solar systems. Canadian Solar expects to make definite decisions about the plant site, cost and ultimate size in Q1 2010.

The new facility is expected to result in 500 new direct manufacturing jobs in Ontario. The estimated cost of the plant will be CAN $24 million, and once completed, it will be one of the largest solar panel manufacturing facilities in North America. The plant will be completed in stages, with the first phase of operations expected to commence in 2010.

Canadian Solar’s manufacturing facility is expected to help drive Ontario’s emerging solar industry, which is growing rapidly as a result of the provincial government’s recently launched feed-in-tariff (FIT) program.

“Our new facility will help expand ‘green’ skilled jobs and investment in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc. “Additionally, with this facility, our leading-edge photovoltaic technology will be manufactured and readily available in Ontario for those who are ready to take advantage of the FIT programs.”

Opsun Panels Inc., a subsidiary of Opsun Technologies Inc., has decided to set up a 50-megawatt (MW) solar panel production line in the province. Opsun is already manufacturing its SunRail mounting system and StructuralPV commercial solution in Ontario. Opsun Panels will begin its Ontario production in Q3 2010.

Opsun’s PV panels are built using high-efficiency SE solar cells from CSUN. Those panels, as well as the SunRail mounting system and StructuralPV, are available immediately.

Opsun will integrate China Sunergy’s advanced solar cell technology into their PV Panel, Structural PV modules and 3X Concentrated modules, sales of which will initially be focused in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec as well as the Northeast United States.

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