Ontario FIT rules attract local solar manufacturing capacity

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Responding to requirements under Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system for local content in renewable energy systems, companies are setting up manufacturing operations in the province to support solar energy development there. Solar photovoltaic (PV) system developer Q-Cells SE (Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany) and ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (Cambridge, Ont.) have formed a joint venture under which Q-Cells and ATS’ solar system manufacturing unit Photowatt will pursue solar energy projects in Ontario. The projects will be ground-mounted PV facilities using Q-Cells solar cells integrated with Photowatt Ontario’s domestic-content modules. ATS and Q-Cells each hold a 50% percent interest in the project development company, Ontario Solar PV Fields Inc., which received conditional FIT contracts from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) in April for seven Ontario ground mounted projects totaling 64 MW.

On September 27, inverter maker Kaco New Energy (San Francisco, CA) announced that it will open its first North American manufacturing facility in London, Ontario. The facility, to be located in London’s Skyway Industrial Park, will produce Kaco’s XP series 83 kilowatt (kW) and 100 kW solar inverters. Kaco is planning to start up operations at the facility in November 2010. The company has a goal of producing about 330 MW of inverters at the London facility annually.

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