1 February 2011

Enbridge acquiring 20MW of solar projects from First Solar

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), says that Toronto-based energy distributor Enbridge Inc of Calgary, Alberta, Canada has agreed to invest about CDN$90m to acquire two new solar energy projects in Ontario with a collective annual generating capacity of 20MW:

  • the 5MW Tilbury Solar Project (on which First Solar completed construction in December); and
  • the Amherstburg II Solar Project, about 70km from Tilbury (two separate facilities totaling 15MW, for construction beginning in March and completing in third-quarter 2011).

The 87 acre (35 hectare) Tilbury project has 89,000 solar panels covering 15 acres (6.1 hectares) and yielding about 7 million kWh annually (corresponding to the consumption of about 800 homes, and saving about 2500 tonnes of CO2 per year). The estimated peak workforce is about 300.

The 154 acre (62 hectare) Amherstburg II project has 244,000 solar panels area covering 43 acres (17 hectares) and yielding about 23 million kWh annually (corresponding to the consumption of about 2400 homes, and saving about 7500 tonnes of CO2 per year). The estimated peak workforce is 300–400.

“Following closely on the heels of the successful completion of our 80MW Sarnia Solar Project, we’re pleased to add another 20MW of solar generating capacity to our renewable energy portfolio,” says Al Monaco, president, Gas Pipelines, Green Energy & International, at Enbridge. “We think the fundamentals of the renewable energy business are strong as electricity demand will continue to grow, and renewable energy is well positioned to meet a significant portion of the demand,” he adds.

“These agreements demonstrate continued momentum in First Solar’s project development business,” says Frank DeRosa, First Solar’s senior VP of North American project development. “We are very pleased to extend our relationship with Enbridge that began with Sarnia, and to work together to increase renewable energy generation in Canada.”

Under the terms of the agreements, First Solar constructed (and, in the case of Amherstburg II, will construct) the projects under fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts. First Solar will also provide operations and maintenance services to Enbridge under long-term contracts. Enbridge will sell the facilities' power output 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.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe Enbridge

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.enbridge.com

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