A Canadian company quadrupled the capacity of one of its power plants, establishing itself as the world’s largest operating photovoltaic facility.
The Sarnia Solar Project in Ontario now generates 80 megawatts of energy, up from 20 megawatts. First Solar manufactured the solar panels and will operate the project for Enbridge, owner of the facility in Sarnia. Work was completed last month, and the polished product will be on display on Thursday, Oct. 7.
Enbridge earmarked about $300 million for the upgrade, an investment on top of last years' acquisition of the facility from First Solar.
Officials from Enbridge and First Solar and Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley will be on hand for Thursday’s community celebration, which will feature discussion about local investments. Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid also is expected to attend.
First Solar’s solar modules are expected to generate 120,000 megawatt-hours per year, enough to power nearly 13,000 homes. Enbridge sells the output to the Ontario Power Authority as part of a 20-year agreement.
As a result of the upgrade, the Sarnia Solar Project now saves nearly 39,000 tons of carbon dioxidem, according to Enbridge.