1 October 2010


Enbridge and First Solar to open world's largest photovoltaic facility

Energy distributor Enbridge Inc of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), have completed the expansion of the Sarnia Solar Project (near Sarnia, Ontario) from 20MW of capacity to 80MW, making it the world’s largest operating photovoltaic facility. The expansion (involving a total system cost of about CDN$300m) was announced last December after the initial 20MW solar energy project achieved full commercial operation.

Enbridge owns and operates Canada’s largest natural gas distribution company, providing distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State, and operates the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system, but is expanding its interests into renewable energy technologies.

In October 2009, Enbridge agreed to acquire the initial 20MW solar energy project that First Solar had developed at the Sarnia site. First Solar constructed the solar project under a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction contract, and also provides operations and maintenance services to Enbridge under a long-term contract.

The Sarnia Solar Project comprises 1.3 million modules covering a total surface area of 973,000m². At 80MW, Enbridge expects it to generate 120 million kW-hr of power annually. Output is being sold to the Ontario Power Authority pursuant to 20-year power purchase agreements under the terms of the Ontario Government's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

Enbridge will hold a Grand Opening of the Sarnia Solar Project on 4 October, attended by Ontario Energy Minister Hon. Brad Duguid., along with Al Monaco (Enbridge’s executive VP, Major Projects & Green Energy) and Frank De Rosa (First Solar’s senior VP of Business Development).

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