George Smitherman, who is also deputy premier of the province, presided at the formal dedication of the Arnprior Solar Project, just west of Ottawa. He was joined by Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF EN Canada, which has invested C$100 million in the solar PV project as part of the province's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.
Smitherman and Grimbert each installed a solar panel during the ceremony, adding to the 312,000 ground-mounted solar PV panels that are being installed at the site. The project will be the largest solar PV site in Canada when it is placed in service later this year, and will double the country’s grid-connected solar PV capacity.
The Arnprior solar PV site is being developed as two installations under Ontario's Standard Offer Program, which incents renewable power to help replace coal-fired generation.
“Today marks a significant milestone for EDF EN Canada as we stand together with the people of Ontario and realize our vision of truly sustainable energy,” said Grimbert. “At a time when job creation and environmental responsibility have become critical public policy goals, EDF EN Canada has utilised the unique endowment of eastern Ontario's people and sunshine to make a long-term commitment to green energy."
“The opening of this solar farm in Arnprior will be a significant part of the growing momentum for green energy as we work together to eliminate coal fired electricity generation in Ontario," added minister Smitherman.
EDF EN Canada is part of EDF Energies Nouvelles of France. It entered the Canadian market in 2008 and works with its US affiliate, enXco, which became an affiliate of EDF in 2002.
EDF will commission the 201 MW Nobles wind farm in Minnesota next year and the 150 MW Merricourt wind farm in North Dakota in 2011. It has 3000 MW of renewable energy projects in service or under construction.