The Green Energy Act is quickly positioning Ontario as a world leader in the global sustainability movement. Originally enacted in 2009, the Act continues to bolster the province’s local economy through domestic content provisions and a number of renewable energy growth initiatives among both major and minor players in the solar energy arena. These domestic content provisions require that companies seeking to develop large or micro solar projects within the province use a percentage of local goods and labour. In exchange, Ontario’s government rewards developers and power producers with favorable energy rates and other incentives. Eco-savvy companies seeking financial benefits in the solar and wind energy sectors are taking note and setting up manufacturing and international distribution operations within Ontario’s borders.
SunEdison and First Reserve Corporation – a Green Energy Act Marriage
SunEdison is one such solar development company eager to carve out a greater niche in the profitable environment made possible by the Green Energy Act. It has recently struck a deal with First Reserve Corporation, a major solar energy investor. The arrangement includes over $1.5 billion in financing for a variety of solar related projects. SunEdison has also teamed up with a yet unnamed auto parts maker in Windsor to produce solar racking systems.
Sky Power and Conergy Driving Ontario’s Growth
Sky Power Limited and Conergy, Inc. have formed a solar alliance that could help Ontario meet its goal of installing 100,000 solar rooftop systems by 2023. Their plan is to create partnerships with various businesses and governmental agencies to “design, finance, build, own, and operate rooftop solar systems.”
Solar Energy Training and the Rise of Green Careers
Solar training classes are becoming increasingly important, especially as the Green Energy Act continues to attract residential and commercial interest with its generous solar incentives. The industry is facing unprecedented demand for solar installations, prompting many to consider the benefits of green careers. Associate Director of Ontario Solar Academy, David Gower, comments, “The majority of our graduates come from the electrical, roofing, or construction trades. However, recently more and more are coming to us specifically to change careers.” He adds, “The solar training we offer provides them a foundation that will help them in their pursuit of green jobs.”
photo: Ian Muttoo