Led by Samsung C&T Corp and the Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), the wind energy and solar electric projects will treble the province’s capacity of renewable energy resources. It is the single-largest investment in renewable energy in the province and is due to Ontario’s recent enactment of the Green Energy Act that guarantees C$0.80/kWh for output from solar electric facilities.
In addition to the feed-In tariff for generating renewable electricity, the consortium will be eligible for economic development aid that is contingent upon the creation of manufacturing plants for wind towers, solar inverters, solar module assembly and wind energy blades in full operation by the end of 2015. The four manufacturing plants would create 1440 jobs.
The total cost of the renewable energy aid will be C$437 million (net present value) over the lifetime of the contracts. The subsidy will add C$1.60 on the annual residential electricity bill over the period, which equates to an increase of 0.1% on a typical residential electricity bill.
The province says 1.2 GW of new wind energy projects have started in Ontario since 2003, representing C$2.8bn of investment, with another 40 MW of solar PV. CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants have dropped 73% below 2003 levels and the Green Energy Act is expected to create 50,000 new jobs
The 16,000 green energy jobs to be created over 6 years will come during construction, installation and operation of the green, renewable power projects, in addition to the direct employment in the four manufacturing plants. The increased renewable energy development and manufacturing activities will support indirect job creation in finance, consulting and other manufacturing, service and development industries, the province promises.
The consortium intends to use Ontario-made steel in its renewable energy projects, such as constructing its wind turbine towers.
Of the 2.5 GW of capacity, 2 GW will be wind power and 500 MW will be solar PV. Construction will occur in five phases, starting in 2012, with the first phase scheduled to be completed within 38 months and include a 500 MW cluster (400 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar) to be built in the Chatham-Kent and Haldimand County regions of Southern Ontario.
The renewable energy projects will generate 110 TWh of green power over the 25-year lifetime of the project, enough to supply electricity to all Ontario homes for three years. Over the lifetime of these contracts, the wind and solar projects will displace 40 Mt of carbon dioxide compared to emissions from gas-fired generation.
Assurance of transmission in subsequent phases is contingent on the delivery of four manufacturing plant commitments.