Ontario entrepreneur, Jim Shaban, announced last week that he plans to take part in the province’s growing solar economy with a 500 kW rooftop solar installation on the sound stage of the film studio he intends to build near Windsor. The installation will create temporary jobs for graduates of Ontario’s solar power training classes, as well as indirectly create jobs in the film industry. Mr. Shaban expects to have the installation up and running by the spring of 2011.
The Ontario businessman made the announcement alongside representatives of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) and local Members of Provincial Parliament. “To see this starting in Essex County,” said Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Dwight Duncan at the ceremony, “and to see our tax credits bearing fruit and to see the Green Energy Act coming in and to see solar panels on the roof — it’s really remarkable….”
Studio to Produce Solar Energy, Jobs for Graduates of Solar Power Classes
Mr. Shaban’s goal is to take advantage of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and its feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which pays producers of green energy to tie solar, wind, and biomass projects into the province’s electrical grid. To achieve this goal, he has signed a deal with Great Lakes Energy, Inc. (Great Lakes), to build the installation on a portion of a property located in Lakeshore, thirty kilometres east of Windsor.
Mr. Shaban will use money he generates through the FIT as well as film industry tax rebates to finance his dream of owning a film studio. “We’re going to take any revenue that we take from green energy, and we’re going to put it back into creating film jobs,” says Mr. Shaban, who worked for years at a major theatre and owned two independent movie houses in the Windsor area before he sold them to fund the new studio.
In addition to creating jobs for graduates of Ontario’s solar power classes and people employed in the film industry, the Lakeshore studio will also create work in manufacturing and distribution, thanks to the FIT’s domestic content provisions, which require projects to meet targets for Ontario materials and workers. With Jim Shaban’s assistance, Ontario’s film industry will soon help the province’s solar economy create clean air and green jobs.
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