The deal brings to an end two years of negotiations between Samsung and Pattern Energy, and the Six Nations, the largest of Canada’s aboriginal First Nation governments.
The Grand River Renewable Energy Park (GREP), located in Haldimand County, will be a 250 MW wind and solar project, part of the first phase of Samsung’s investment in Ontario. Having received approval from the Ontario Power Authority in August 2011 to proceed with this phase, Samsung and Pattern are now completing the technical studies and approvals necessary to begin construction, which is expected to begin in autumn this year.
Samsung and its partners have pledged to bring $7 billion in investment to Ontario to create 2.5 GW of new renewable energy sources, including four manufacturing facilities.
K.J. Kim, Vice President of Samsung’s renewables division, said: “After almost two years of negotiations with Six Nations, we are proud to have reached an agreement for the first renewable energy partnership in Six Nations’ history.”
Shortly after signing a green energy investment agreement with the government of Ontario in January 2010, Samsung and Pattern entered into negotiations with Six Nations to locate a portion of the first phase of Samsung’s wind and solar project on Six Nations territory in Haldimand County.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Six Nations may choose to participate in the project by electing an equity holding or royalty for each of the wind and solar developments.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act, passed in 2009, introduced generous feed-in tariff rates for clean energy development. Ontario currently accounts for around a third of Canada’s total wind energy development, which has itself increased tenfold in the past six years.