The Sarnia solar PV project is expected to be completed by the end of 2009, and be the largest photovoltaic solar energy facility in operation in Canada - and one of the largest in North America. At 20 MW, Enbridge expects the project to generate enough power to meet the needs of about 3,200 homes, and help save the equivalent of around 6,600 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Patrick D. Daniel, Enbridge's president and ceo said, "the Sarnia Solar Project is right in the sweet spot of Enbridge's renewable energy strategy. It has risk and return characteristics which are fully consistent with Enbridge's low-risk business model, and similar to our crude oil pipeline business. At the same time it represents a further step towards our corporate goal of a neutral environmental footprint.” Daniel added that in 2009, Enbridge's investment in solar energy would be approximately C$100 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar is constructing the solar PV project under a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction contract, utilising its thin film PV technology. First Solar says its advanced thin film technology has been deployed in over 1,000 MW of installations in the USA and Europe.
The Sarnia project will be in addition to Enbridge's four existing wind energy projects which have a combined capacity of 260 MW. According to the company, the power generated by Enbridge’s wind facilities provides enough green energy to meet the equivalent of 35% of the power requirements of the company's Canadian crude oil mainline.
Enbridge reports that it also has interests in emissions-free hybrid fuel cell technology and waste heat recovery facilities.