Earlier this week, the province of Ontario, Canada, hosted the grand opening of the newly updated solar farm known as The Sarnia Solar Project. The new facility has tripled in size from its original 20 megawatt system and the companies involved say it is the largest operating photovoltaic (PV) solar farm in the world. According to Solar Novus Today, the Sarnia Solar Project cost roughly $400 million. This is the description of the project:
[It] covers a huge surface, approximately 240 acres of land in a facility comprised of 950 acres, and consists of 1.3 million thin-film solar panels. The annual power generation is expected to be about 120,000 megawatt hours (MWh). The 80MW Sarnia Solar Project is expected to power about 12,800 homes. The electricity generated by the system will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority. Sarnia will save more than 39,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
The American company "First Solar developed, engineered, and constructed the facility, using its advanced thin film solar panels" stated by Market Watch. First Solar will also be involved in maintaining the facility due to the contract agreement with Enbridge, who spent $300 million on The Sarnia Solar Project. No water was used in the construction of the facility and all of the solar modules will be re-used once their life span is up.
Photovoltaic technology was created to have as little impact on the environment as possible and will not leave a "carbon footprint" according to iStockAnalyst. The construction of the facility created over 800 jobs and helped the surrounding communities by hiring engineers and other skilled professions. Renewable energy facilities like The Sarnia Project is a part of Canada's greater goal to use renewable energy such the Green Energy Act to "make Ontario a global leader in clean, renewable energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, energy security and climate protection" according to Green Energy Act Alliance.
The Sarnia project was created not only for the city of Sarnia today but for future generations to come. "This is a landmark day for Ontario and demonstrates that our clean energy economy is creating jobs and attracting investment into our communities. These new renewable projects will harness the wind and the sun to generate the clean energy we need to power our homes and businesses today and for our children's and grandchildren's futures," said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Energy, according to Energy Matters.
"The Sarnia Solar Project is an example of the kinds of renewable energy projects that have been developed under the Government of Ontario's Green Energy Act," said the Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy. "Ontario can now boast the largest solar farm in North America. It is projects like this one that are making us a leader in renewable energy and helping us all move towards a cleaner energy future" according to Solar Novus.
The Sarnia Solar Project shows that in Ontario, Canada, solar is fast becoming a way of life.