Advertisements

Atlantic Wind & Solar Receives Approval on Largest PV Project in South America

south-americaWest Virginia corporation Atlantic Wind & Solar (OTC: AWSL), with affiliate and co-developer Atlantic Energy Ecuador, reported this morning that they have received formal notice from the National Electricity Council of Ecuador (CONELEC), confirming two initial photovoltaic (PV) projects in the Province of Esmeraldas are to proceed under Ecuador’s feed-in tariff program.

The $150 million (USD) plants, representing 2 phases encompassing over 500 acres will be built in the province of Esmeraldas and will be larger than any currently operational PV plant in South America.

The projects combined represent 58.43 MW of DC solar PV generation. Each site will consist of 25 MW AC of nominal generation and will be located in the towns of Lagarto and Tonchigue respectively. Each phase shall connect to the transmission grid using the same local distribution company at different points and will generate in excess of 86,000 MWh per year of clean electricity; Enough energy to power 85,000 households, while offsetting annual CO2 emissions by nearly 50,000 metric tonsThe equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road each year.

This advancement follows the successful completion of technical studies including, grid impact assessments, risk and environmental analysis and economic feasibility studies, each approved by CONELEC. In addition to initial study costs, Atlantic was required to provide approximately $2,000,000 in warranties to secure the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

The construction phase of the project will employ an estimated 500 workers while significantly boosting the local economy. Under a corporate social responsibility plan Atlantic will improve the area’s utility infrastructure, contributing 50% of associated costs in partnership with the local distribution company, plus build two playgrounds for the local children.

Lead developer in the project, Atlantic Wind & Solar’s CEO Gilles A. Trahan comments “These initial solar power generating facilities in Ecuador reaffirm Atlantic’s strategy to develop similar scale projects in new emerging markets where such social and environmental advancements have an immediate impact on the quality of life for all residents. We believe Ecuador’s progressive example will help fuel growth in the South American energy market through the next decade.”

Atlantic is active in this  market with 50 MW of approved projects and 181 MW of projects in various stages of development.

The start up, publicly listed company currently trades on the OTC stock exchange under ticker symbol AWSL.

Ecuador Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program
Selling Power Generated

The electricity authority of Ecuador announced on May 14, 2011 the adoption of a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program for solar photovoltaic, wind, hydro and biomass energy generation. Under the terms of the FIT, the electrical authority will purchase the power produced by solar PV at a rate of .4003 per KWh.

South American countries such as Ecuador are some of the best positioned markets in the world to leverage the benefits of large scale photovoltaic solar farms. This positioning is not only based on geography, being so close to the equator while offering some of the highest solar irradiance levels in the world,  but also due to the region’s increased economic status’ and rapidly evolving energy demands.

SOURCE: Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc.

Tel. 1 416 900-0380

Advertisements

Raising the Roof for Solar

The BRC/SolarForm Canada PV project resulted from the use of an innovative solar system designed to maximize solar production on a physically constrained commercial rooftop. It was built under Ontario Canada’s Green Energy Act and Feed-in Tariff program.

The project began with a targeted production capacity of 250 kW on a site that was less than 35,000 square feet. The building was older and had been constructed in phases resulting in 3 different roof heights, numerous roof penetrations from previous and existing tenants and was very long and narrow with an azimuth of 135 degrees.

The owner quickly realized that the production target could never be met with a traditional ballasted solar rack system due to shading and production losses related to area challenges and roof hardware.

A  raised solar rack system was proposed by the design team to equalize the roof heights. At the owners request, three leading roofing companies were consulted to determine the minimum acceptable height for the raised racking to allow normal roof maintenance and service of roof-ware. A height of 5 feet was determined to be acceptable by the roofing experts and this height was chosen as the minimum height above the highest roof section of the building. Due to the inconsistencies of the building roof heights, this decision resulted in an average of 9 foot roof/rack clearance for the balance of the solar building area.

Having determined the proper solar rack clearances, the owner contracted Rob Thorne of Canadian Renovations & Restorations Inc. with a clear mandate to engineer and design the best valued rack system for a 250 kW AC solar installation at this site.

Additional design constraints were quickly determined and factored into the project design. Largely based on the choice of top quality Juli New Energy solar modules, which are all plus rated and had an average efficiency of over 15.3% (now available at over 15.9%), coupled with the use of highly efficient Power-One 10 kW string inverters, a 17% de-rating on the target system size was accepted for modeling, DC influenced calculations, and the selection of panel angle.

The building azimuth constrained the rack system in two manners: it had to allow for a rugged, high weight capacity superstructure, and the solar module rack system had to be independent of this superstructure and capable of azimuthal based adjustments relative to the building.

In the end, a raised, hot-dipped, zinc coated, I-beam superstructure was selected as the design with a triangular truss module rack. Over 1,623 modules were accommodated in the design at a panel angle of 19 degrees. The 21 string inverters were selected for high efficiency, maximum numbers of independent MPPT’s and string allowances, NEMA 4 ratings for extreme weather conditions and were mounted to the superstructure in an easy-to-service, readily accessible manner.

Due to the age of the building and the lack of detailed structural drawings, the Solarform Canada design and engineering team excavated footings in three locations within the building to assess soil and footing strength and implemented necessary building remedies to support the weight and wind loading of the intended elevated rooftop structure.

Additional engineering of the site included the insertion of 23 roof column penetrations and 41 wall column extensions. Twenty four inch steel stubs were welded and attached at these penetrations and extensions upon which the raised superstructure was mounted.

To accommodate the target 250 kW (AC) – 308.5 kW (DC), it was determined by the design team that the solar array would need to be cantilevered over the building envelope on three sides due to spatial constraints. The raised system was engineered, constructed and designed for the maximum wind and snow-load conditions in the area. The solar modules were placed at 19º tilt, two-up, in landscape mode, with racking at intervals to accommodate inter-panel racking shading conducive to the latitude of the building. The modules were wired to string inverters and the AC/DC electrical was designed to stay within a maximum target of 1.5% voltage loss. The Juli New Energy solar modules were grounded to the racking and the racks grounded to the building steel and building ground through methods approved and inspected by the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority.

Rob Thorne, lead designer says, “At first, we constructed the raised roof solar generator completely out of necessity, but in the end, we discovered, after experience and financial analysis, that ‘building up’ yields a higher performing and more cost effective 20-year system than placing the modules and racking on the roof deck. Since August, we have completed a second 250 kW raised roof solar system and expect to complete 3 others by spring 2012.”

Non-building related challenges included the presence of a large dust collector and cellular communication tower in the immediate vicinity of the building causing solar shading to the proposed array of modules. The collector was ultimately lowered and exchanged while the cell tower effects were minimized with newer, smaller profile communication hardware.

Finally, in the presence of the Local Distribution Company and ESA, the system was connected and commissioned. Subsequent power analysis, safety testing and functionality analysis lead to the declaration of commercial operation on July 21, 2011. The resulting performance tests yielded a voltage loss of 1.17% from inverters to meter, well within the 1.5% engineering target.

System owner, Bill Melnik states, “This solar system was designed with excellence in mind. There was little compromise to system quality and revenue yield. In the end, this design may well prove to be the best solution for solar rooftop installations in North America. The system allows maximum use of rooftop space, minimizes heat effects of flat roof solar installations, minimizes snow effects and provides a better revenue yield per square foot of rooftop than ballasted systems. It further retains any additional roof space for future use as a building or energy resource. We would be happy to discuss and support our conclusion with anyone who wishes to pursue this design.”

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held, on the roof-under the shade of the solar modules. Over 130 people toasted this achievement to the sound of a live jazz band with catered food and refreshments.

Major benefits of a Raised Roof Solar System:

-No requirement to budget for pre-system roof repair or replacement

-Maximum number of watts per square foot of roof space─current designs exceed 10 watts per square foot

-Robust, maintenance-free structures that are designed for wind uplift and compressive forces

-No solar modeling requirements for roof obstructions and shading such as air conditioning units or vent stacks

-Excellent northern climate and snow performance

-Easy to wire for DC and AC including inverter access and service

-Minor impact to the fixed costs of the system─excellent payback when roof maintenance costs or scheduled roof replacement costs are factored into the financial model

-Exceptionally flexible with different building azimuthals

-Superb system access for complete serviceability post-installation

-Completely recyclable.

Barbara Graham is Educator, Teacher and Writer. Upon retirement from a 30-year successful career as an educator, Barbara has furthered her passion for the greening the globe by focusing attention on Alternative Energy and  the Green movement.

McGuinty’s Job Market; Full Green Ahead for 2012

The Ontario Government’s decision to promote clean renewable energy has proven to be an effective catalyst for creating ten’s of thousands of green collar jobs across the province.
The controversial procurement program known as the Feed In Tariff  (FIT) was launched in fall of 2009 by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), offering to pay private energy producers generous rates for electricity generated by renewable sources (i.e. solar, wind, hydroelectric, etc.). The power purchase agreements are assigned for twenty year periods between the power producers and OPA.  In order for renewable energy power producers to qualify for these long term premiums, over half of the materials they use to build their clean energy power plants must be made in Ontario. This local content requirement rule had created a gold rush-like mentality for international renewable energy component manufactures who flocked to the region to qualify, while bringing thousands of jobs with them.

Almost three years after the program was initially introduced, the number of new green collar jobs created in the region is rumored to have surpassed 50,000, with many more expected to be formed in 2012 and beyond as new projects come on line.

Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers, with operations in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the United States, has opened a solar panel manufacturing plant in Guelph, Ontario. Once operating at full capacity, the multi-million dollar complex is expected to supply 500 new jobs to locals. The Company recently sold 86 megawatts of solar projects for $470 million to TransCanada Corporation. This portfolio of large photovoltaic projects will encompass approximately 900 acres of land while supplying hundreds of local residents with installation, service and maintenance jobs, while supporting hundreds more stakeholders for decades to come.

The border Township of Welland, Ontario had been chosen by Asian corporate giant Juli New Energy to manufacture it’s first North American made, high energy output solar modules. Juli chose to partner with existing solar module manufacturer OSM SolarForm to lead this endeavor, partially due the high caliber of skilled labor OSM SolarForm had employed at it’s 90k square foot facility. With a maximum capacity of 120 MW of production per annum, the plant is not only supplying the Ontario solar market, but is now shipping significant quantities of product into the United States. The OSM SolarForm plant also manufactures modules for Korean conglomerate Symphony Solar in addition to the largest fully integrated solar company in the world, LDK from China. With a current work force of approx 100 local employees, the facility is expected to triple its work force by the end of 2012.

Mr. Brent O’Connor, Director of Energy Development for SolarBox Inc., a Georgetown, Ontario based solar energy component distributor comments  “2011 was a great year for us, but 2012 is expected to far surpass it based on commitments we have from home owners and solar contractors from across the Province.” O’Connor continued  “Now that energy developers have had enough time to get their government FIT contracts approved, raise financings and plan the construction of their projects, we’re expecting our sales to quadruple in the Ontario market this year alone… Ontario is still very much the place to be.”

In addition to new jobs being created, the FIT program is facilitating many new opportunities for trained professionals who are now reapplying their job skills and work experience.

A number of lawyers who specialized in real estate law have added renewable energy development to their practices. Some roofers have made the shift into becoming solar panel installers. Commercial shelving manufacturers  are now converting their steel fabricating shops over to building racking systems used for solar panels. Logistics companies specializing in the transporting of various freights are now focusing on gaining new contracts to ship solar panels and wind turbines. Construction crane operators are now booking rooftop solar construction projects and are also being asked to use their equipment to erect wind turbines. Even once abandoned automotive manufacturing plants have been converted over to building wind turbines while hiring back many of the same personnel who once worked at these very factories on automotive assembly lines, before being laid off.

Thousands of green sector stakeholders are now officially beginning to feel the positive effects that the Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act was designed to bestow. It is reassuring to know that as these new green collar jobs and the new opportunities the sector brings with it increase, so too will other new ways of doing business.

Unarguably Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government took a brave step in implementing a private energy procurement program. In doing so, not only has our Premier successfully begun to wean the Province off of it’s dependency on dirty electricity generated by harmful CO2 emitting sources, but has successfully implemented a job creation program that will leave the rest of  North America green with envy.

From TheSolarGazette.org

Victory for Ontario’s Renewable Energy Employment Market

Its business as usual for thousands of Ontarions, whose green collar jobs depended on the Liberal’s clean energy initiatve, Feed In Tariff (FIT) program.

Yesterday’s election results, favoring Premier Dalton MacGuinty’s Liberal party not only represents a sigh of relief for thousands of Ontario businesses and families (whose futures were threatened by Tim Hudak’s Conservative vows to scrap the program), but also supports the future growth and prosperity of North America’s first ambitious green energy FIT program.

Still in its infancy, the OPA’s Feed In Tariff program has placed Ontario front and center as an innovative  leader in the North American Renewable Energy race. The initiative has already promoted the development of many unsurpassed, Canadian designed and manufactured technologies that are now being prepared for local consumption and global export.

Although the looming election had stifled the sector’s growth for the past several months, causing FIT reliant businesses such as solar panel and wind turbine manufacturers to be skeptical before deciding to make any further investment into the province, the election outcome is expected to have pulled the trigger on the next wave or progress, making way for these ambitious initiatives to further prove their worth.

For strategically positioned Renewable Energy stakeholders, the election not only solidifies the security of their existing employees’ jobs, but also reinforces the probability of future growth for their companies, leading to the hiring and training of thousands of more Ontarions.

OSM/SolarForm, an Ontario owned solar panel manufacturer, distributor and installer, operating out of Georgetown and Welland, is one such company.  While recently signing an agreement to amalgamate with Fortera Environmental Corp. (FTE.V)  listed on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange, the Company confides that Thursday’s poll results are not only favorable for their existing employees, but also their future employees.

OSM/SolarForm Vice President, Mr. Steve Bellamy  comments “Although our Company maintained 4 years of secured work pre-election, we had been holding back making any key decisions entailing the expansion of our Ontario plants and offices – ultimately leading to the potential hiring of several more local employees. The decisions involving local expansion, which will undoubtedly lead to our international expansion, will now be supported by Ontario voters’ decision to allow the Liberals’ to remain in power for another term… This not only represents great news for our corporate stakeholders, but for the province’s overall economy as a whole.”

Bellamy’s tone seems to be unanimous throughout the sector today, while Ontario Renewable Energy manufacturers and developers prepare for their next stage of green growth, while promising the next round of green collar jobs to the province – Exactly what the Liberals’ FIT program was designed to do in the first place.

TheSolarGazette.org Reports on Ontario FIT Program Delays

Formed in 2009, Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. is a Toronto based, publiclytraded Renewable Energy company, focused on deploying utility scale Wind and Solar energy parks across Ontario.

 

The company’s primary objective is to build, own and operate clean energyprojects for the purpose of selling the electricity generated into thelocal utility grid, under the terms and conditions of the provincesgreen energy initiative, Feed In Tariff (FIT) program, launched in Sept, 2009.

 

But like many other solar startups in the province, the company has yet toreport any substantial earnings as a result of what some stakeholdersare describing as “excessive delays in the Power Purchase Agreement(PPA) approval process created by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).”

 

Although the delays of these government contracts have already caused severalsmaller energy developers to close shop and simultaneously sparking some uncertainty amongst the investment community, Atlantic’s Chairman Mr.Gilles Trahan remains optimistic in the FIT program, and the OPA’sability to deliver contracts.

 

In view of the upcoming Canadian federal election, Trahan believes thedelays in the contract release process may be part of a provincialgovernment strategy as opposed to a bottleneck or failure in the system.

 

To support this theory, Trahan reports that his company has alreadyreceived confirmation directly from the Ontario Power Authority,confirming that at least twenty six (26) of the Power PurchaseAgreements that his firm applied for last summer (all 500kw and smaller) have already been processed, and according to the OPA, are assured tobe released in the next round of contract approvals.

 

To further support Trahan’s optimism, the OPA issued a Press Release on February 24 stating; “In the coming weeks, the OPA expects to begin awarding phase threecontracts for capacity allocation exempt (CAE) projects (under 500kilowatts) that applied between June 5, 2010, and December 7, 2010.”

 

Trahan corroborates that all of Atlantic’s initially confirmed projects fallinto this NEXT to be released category, and indicates that it is likelythat many other solar developers have received similar notifications,giving hope that it will happen “any day.”

 

He also points out that the initial 26 confirmed contracts representapproximately 6 MW of rooftop solar projects, amounting to an estimated$200 mil in potential gross revenues for Atlantic and its stakeholders,allowing the company to include significant secured revenues, as itprepares to submit it’s S-1 registration statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allowing the company to apply to up-listonto a senior stock exchange.

 

In addition, he reports that Atlantic has since added another 120 similarsized projects (250kW-500kW) to its pipeline, and is confident that they too will continue to be processed by the OPA, in order of submission.

 

The Atlantic executive forecasts that his and other well funded companiesmay get an even bigger boost during the next round of approvals, due towhat he describes as the creation of the secondary rooftop solar market. He anticipates an excess of Capacity Allocated Exempt (CAE) contractswill be made available for sale by less fortunate, under fundeddevelopers who had applied for the contracts last year, but who havesince been forced to close their doors due to not being able to endurethe prolonged waiting period.

 

Trahan points out that although the delays in the system might at first appear to be unfortunate for the sector, he believes the adjournment hasalready helped shake out many of the players who planned on flippingcontracts for quick returns, as well as has helped thin out many of theweaker developers who were over committed and under supported, resulting in an overall strengthening of the industry. – Perhaps exactly as theprogram may have been designed to do.

To view 2 x 3 min YouTube videos on AWSL, and the Ontario Renewable Energy sector, please visit: 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL1elhDVwHY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdRG7wqYquM

Read more

Ontario’s Eco-Echo Presents 2nd Round of Green Jobs

After billions of dollars of Power Purchase Agreements were awarded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) in 2010, with many more anticipated in 2011, new innovative companies offering additional support services to now “locally established” solar and wind energy developers have begun to cleverly position themselves in the province for what is expected to be the next wave of green opportunity.
 
Over the last eighteen months companies like Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), Siemens (NYSE:SI), SunEdison (NYSE:MEMC), Samsung (SSNLF) and others have exploded onto the scene, capturing an expected 15,000 MW of wind and solar energy contracts, as part of the Province’s mandate to alleviate itself off of coal generated energy by 2015.
 
As billions of dollars in renewable energy contracts move towards construction (to be executed over the next 48 months) secondary stakeholders like Grid Cloud Solutions Inc. (OTC:GRDC) have moved into position, offering what some describe as “eco-echo” products and services to larger energy developers.
 
Aside from the initial supply of necessary materials and the construction RE projects, Grid Cloud caters to a niche market, offering a variety of necessary services including; Environmental Assessment (EA) impact studies on vacant lands (scheduled to be used for large solar farms);  Smart Grid compatible monitoring services that measure the amount of electricity generated before it is sold into the utility grid; security systems that monitor the power plants perimeter and interior for intrusions that may result in the disruption of energy production. In addition, the company recently announced they have launched an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) division that offers to clean dirty solar panels for Ontario solar park owners, assuring maximum energy output is maintained.
 
Grid Cloud representative, Mr. Thomas Brausteiner (a Renewable Energy developer originally based in Austria) comments;  “Ontario is being regarded as one of the hottest RE markets since the launch of Germany’s Feed In tariff program in 2001…we look forward to possibly working with many of the same wind and solar developers who I have worked with in the past throughout Europe, but this time we will be employing all new local manpower, while implementing some of the newest technologies, manufactured in Ontario.”
 
Grid Cloud Solutions is one of many stakeholders who have been lured into the province from the Ontario Feed In Tariff program, bringing with them the expertise, the training and most importantly, the second round of green collar jobs – achieving exactly what the provincial government designed the program to do.

Read more

There’s More Green to Vineyards than Just Grapes and the Next Great Harvest

Since the beginning of time, the sun’s vast energy has brought the world’s renowned vineyards into full bountiful harvest. And now, thanks to the Ontario government‘s precedent-setting renewable energy program, Niagara’s vineyards bringing another type of rewarding harvest to the table.

The Ontario Power Authority’s renewable energy Feed-In-Tariff program guarantees the purchase of electricity generated from solar and other renewable sources at extremely favorable rates. In addition, it has prompted several Niagara region wineries to consider going into the full time production of solar electricity for sale.

The enticing government program is paying independent power producers higher than retail market prices for the supply of clean, solar energy, for a guaranteed period of twenty years. Savvy Ontario vineyard owners are beginning to drink this offer up by the barrel.

“Unlike harvesting grapes, which requires exact timing at the risk of complete failure, harvesting and selling clean electricity generated from the sun is virtually maintenance free.” stated Mr. Brent O’Connor, Director of Energy Development for OSM SolarForm and SolarBox Canada, leading Ontario based solar energy companies involved in hundreds of solar projects across the province.

“Grapes generally mature and are harvested from late August to late October, depending on the variety of the grape,” O’Connor adds, “whereas solar energy is generated all year round, creating great opportunities to vineyard owners who want to help preserve the environment while adding to their existing cash crops.”

For many winemakers across the globe, this relatively new way of generating additional revenues has been a no-brainer.

Several governments across Europe (where O’Connor’s companies have also participated in erecting several projects) are purchasing solar electricity generated independently from local wineries through similar green initiative programs. Notable wine regions in Italy, Germany and France already have FIT programs in place, while California offers similar type energy incentives.

Pelee Island Winery & Vinyards Inc., located in Kingsville, Ontario, is just one winery that has already set the wheels in motion. The vineyard is in it’s final stages of completing a new 100,000 square foot addition, which will give the facility more bottling capacity. The $6 million dollar expansion will host a 250 kW rooftop solar energy park, which will generate an estimated $4 million in additional revenues over the next 20 years, through the sale of clean electricity.

Given plentiful sunshine, high power bills, and an abundance of unused rooftop space, it is no wonder wineries across the globe are now realizing that going solar makes good economic sense. But the lucrative rates now offered in Ontario may not be available for much longer. Some members of Queen’s Park have already turned sour on the policy, pressuring parliament to reduce the current high premiums being offered, claiming that going green is costing too much green. As a result, provincial vineyard owners who are considering this limited time offer are now feeling the pressure to expedite their FIT applications with the Ontario Power Authority before the window of opportunity closes.

But the good news is that harvesting the sun’s energy has now become a trend in many wine countries across the world, and socially responsible, enviro-friendly wine producers have officially committed to reducing the production of harmful greenhouse gasses.

Whoever it was that said “Respect the land and it will deliver many fruitful rewards” certainly was right on the money.

Source

Read more

Waxman Industrial Adds Enormous Rooftop Solar Energy Park

https://i2.wp.com/solarfeeds.com/ad/roofsolarskyline.jpg?ssl=1

Waxman Industrial Services Ltd., a progressive full service recycling company, announced they will be hosting a 500kW solar energy park on the flat roof of their  87,000 sq. ft. industrial facility, located at 4350 Harvester Rd, in the city of Burlington, Ontario.
Plans of the innovative project were displayed on site at the company’s new headquarters last week, where several members of Toronto’s business community gathered. At the event, Burlington Mayor, Mr. Rick Goldring, publicly commended Waxman President and CEO, Mr. Aaron Waxman’s ability to successfully combine the preservation of the environment with robust commerce.

In 2009, Waxman launched an aggressive green initiative program named Scrap Cares.  The Scrap Cares program entails the company’s direct involvement in the recycling process every step of the way, from collecting old items, to processing and distributing reusable raw materials. The hands-on approach has become so successful, that it has propelled Waxman Industrial into becoming the fastest growing company of its kind in the Nation.

CEO, Mr. Aaron Waxman commented; “As a progressive recycling company, preserving the environment is the very premise our business has grown upon, therefore we feel participating in the solar program is not only a way to exercise our social responsibility, but part of our overall business model.”

Brokered by leading commercial realtor Cushman & Wakefield, the rooftop solar energy park will be financed, built and operated by publicly traded Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. (OTC:AWSL) and the electricity generated will be sold directly into the Ontario hydro grid.

Mr. Waxman added; “We are pleased to have the opportunity to participate in Atlantic Wind & Solar’s commercial rooftop solar program, and hope that our actions today will be viewed by other landlords and business owners as an example of how they too may help reduce the amount of harmful carbon emissions that are being released into our atmosphere

The solar energy system, scheduled for construction in Spring 2011, will generate enough clean energy to power approximately 100 local homes, and will offset 500 tons of harmful CO2 from being released into the environment every year. (the equivalent of planting 50,000 trees  and/or removing 1500 cars from the road)

To view CAD renderings of the new solar energy park, please visit: https://scrapcares.com/assets/pdf/Atlantic_ Waxman_Board.pdf

For more information about Waxman Industrial please visit; https://www.waxmanindustrial.ca/

For more information about Scrap Cares, please visit;
https://scrapcares.com/

Read more

Ontario’s Job Market: Full Green Ahead

The Ontario Government’s decision to promote clean renewable energy is now proving to be a catalyst for creating thousands of new green collar jobs in the province.

The controversial procurement program, launched last fall by the Ontario Power Authority, which is commonly referred to as the Feed In Tariff (FIT) program, offers to pay private energy producers generous rates for electricity generated by renewable sources (i.e. solar, wind, hydroelectric, etc.) for contracted periods of twenty years. In order for renewable energy power producers to qualify for these long term – high premiums, over half of the materials they use to build their clean energy power plants must be made in Ontario. This local content requirement rule has created a gold rush-like mentality for international manufactures who are now flocking to the province to qualify. One year after the program was initially introduced, the number of new green collar jobs being created in the region is substantial.

Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers, with operations in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the United States, has started to build a solar module manufacturing plant in Guelph, Ontario. The multi-million dollar complex will supply 500 new jobs as early as next year.

The Town of Oakville has been chosen by Solar Semiconductor to host its first North American solar module manufacturing facility. The company has expanded into Ontario from India, with expectations of opening the doors to its new plant within the next two years. The facility will train and employ 200 new employees.

Italian-based solar panel manufacturer, Silfab, is making its move into the province. Its new facility will be operational as early as mid-2011 and is also expected to employ 200 new employees.

German appliance giant, Bosh, leading Canadian electronics manufacturer, Celestica, and several others are also in the process of opening new solar manufacturing facilities and creating many, many more jobs.

Before making a leap from the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) industry where it specialized in building back-up power main-frames for computer systems, Aim Global Energy of Richmond Hill developed a new inverter technology which increases the output of solar energy by up to 30%. After partnering with publicly traded Atlantic Wind & Solar, a Toronto-based renewable energy company with over 100 large-scale rooftop solar energy projects in the GTA, Aim has begun toexpand its manufacturing operations into Toronto’s Scarborough area. The region’s unemployment rate was significantly impacted after a recycling plant in neighboring Whitby announced it would be closing its doors, affecting 151 employees. The timing of FIT could not have been better for many Ontario residents.

In addition to new jobs being created, the FIT program is creating many new opportunities for trained professionals who are now reapplying their job skills and work experience.

Solar Clean was originally formed by firefighters who recognized that solar maintenance presented a unique opportunity to reapply many of their skill sets. The attributes of being rigorously trained in electrical hazard awareness, how to work safely with water around high voltage systems, the use of safety equipment such as fall arrest systems, operating elevated devices, and ladder safety techniques, are proving to be beneficial in this new sector. The company predicts it will increase in size by four to six times in the next 12- 18 months.

A number of opportunistic real estate sales agents in the province who may have been feeling the effects of a softening real estate market are now supplementing their incomes by helping local clean power producers find suitable vacant farm lands and commercial rooftops to lease for the deployment of new wind and solar energy parks.

A Toronto-based company named CommSite Works Inc., who is best known for securing commercial rooftops used to host cellular phone antenna towers, has been actively closing rooftop lease agreements to facilitate utility-scale solar energy parks. The progressive company, which has an exclusive arrangement with a leading Toronto-based solar company, reported that it is also in the process of significantly increasing its staff in order to facilitate the new niche market.

Some lawyers who specialize in real estate law are adding renewable energy development to their practices. Ms. Cherie Brant of Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP specializes in the planning, structuring, and implementing of renewable energy projects and related transactions with special emphasis on First Nations related projects. Ms. Brant also works with rooftop solar developers, and through her established connections, she finds solutions to financing and other installation challenges that new industries such as this often face. She credits her background in telecommunications leasing and involvement in the legal and policy issues of this growing industry with giving her a competitive edge when delivering added value to her clients.

Roofers are now becoming solar panel installers. Commercial shelving manufacturers are now converting their steel fabricating shops over to building racking systems used for solar panels. Logistics companies specializing in the transporting of various freights are now focusing on gaining new contracts to ship solar panels and wind turbines. Construction crane operators are now booking rooftop solar construction projects and are also being asked to use their equipment to erect wind turbines. Even once abandoned automotive manufacturing plants are now being converted over to build wind turbines while hiring back many of the same personnel who once worked at these very factories on automotive assembly lines, before being laid off.

Thousands of green sector stakeholders are now officially beginning to feel the positive effects that the Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act was designed to bestow. It is reassuring to know that as these new green collar jobs and the new opportunities the sector brings with it increase, so too will other new ways of doing business.

Ontario took a bold step in developing a private procurement program. Not only has it successfully begun to wean the province off of its dependency on electricity generated by harmful CO2 emitting sources, but Ontario has also successfully implemented a job creation program that is set to leave the rest of North America green with envy.

Read more

Getting Your Solar Project Ducks in a Row – An Ontario Financier’s Perspective

Since the Ontariogovernment launched North America’s first Renewable Energy (RE) Feed-In-Tariff(FIT) program last fall, thousands of megawatts of Power Purchase Agreements(PPA) have been awarded to private solar energy developers and integratorsoperating in the province. Despite thegovernment’s generous 20 year secured contracts, many renewable energycompanies in the region are still finding it difficult to secure the necessarycapital to fund the construction portion of their projects, and as a result,several projects are now coming up for grabs.

“Many companies are too focused on securingas many property leases as possible, as fast as possible, without puttingenough emphasis on the projects themselves. A lot of work needs to go into making sure that the FIT contracts youget are the ones you want. The contracts are very specific and can’t bealtered. Basically you have to get all your ducks in a row before you can getyour panels in a row.” stated Mr. Martin Baldwin, a former internationalbanker and Chief Financial Officer for Atlantic Wind & Solar – A leadingpublicly traded, renewable energy company headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

The “ducksin a row” that Baldwin refers to ispreplanning, design, and engineering plus the addressing of key issues such as equipment bankability, provenoperating and maintenance platforms, and project rates of return. Althoughthese issues vary from region to region they are the key fundamentals of theindustry. “You have to find the rightblend of cost, compensation for the property, return for the company, return for external investors, and other componentsspecific to the Ontario market before you can even start a finance discussion.Financing is a key component to these projects, even for companies that plan tofund the equity portions internally”Baldwin further explained, following with “Ontariohas an enormous appetite for power and the Ontario Power Authority has a strongcommitment to renewables. There is a vast amount of commercial sized rooftopsand even more farmer’s fields on which to produce power. We believed from thebeginning that the race would not be for FIT contracts and leases but forfinancing. This focus has served us well”.

The seeming lack ofproject funding in the province is not necessarily being viewed as a bad thingby some of the larger, better funded companies. In fact, Atlantic believes thisis simply a case of Darwinism at it’s finest, where only the strong survive,while the smaller companies either drop off, or simply get acquired. Thecompany confided that through consolidation, their Ontario project pipeline hasgrown by almost 15% in the last few weeks alone.

In response, thecompany recently announced that it has launched a Wind and Solar ProjectFinancing Division, designed to assist other solar integrators and developersin bringing their projects into full construction by providing the necessaryguidance and possible funding where others would not.

While waddling to thefinish line – It appears that slow and steady may be a key factor in winningthe renewable energy race in Ontario.

Read more