Plutonic Power Corporation (Plutonic) and GE Energy Financial Services (GE) recently announced that they will acquire 50 MW worth of solar generation capacity in Ontario from First Solar, Inc. (First Solar). The projects, located in the town of Amherstburg and the communities of Walpole and Belmont, will generate enough photovoltaic (PV) power to meet the needs of 6,300 homes.
Ontario enjoys a booming solar economy that includes green energy, jobs, and certification programs for renewable energy workers, thanks largely to its feed-in tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs. The programs pay Ontario companies, organizations, and individuals above-market rates for energy they generate from solar, wind, and biomass installations. Built-in domestic content requirements ensure that green jobs remain in the province by stipulating that up to 60% of participating projects’ labour and materials must originate in Ontario.
GE is a Stamford, Connecticut-based subsidiary of General Electric Corporation (GEC) that invests in energy projects globally. Vancouver’s Plutonic is making its debut in the Ontario market with these three First Solar projects. According to the company’s website, Plutonic “identifies, develops, and operates clean power projects in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner.” First Solar will construct the three projects over the course of the year and continue to service them once they are complete. First Solar is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, with offices in Sarnia and throughout North America and Europe.
Projects Will Create Green Jobs for Workers with PV Certification
GE and Plutonic’s latest acquisitions from First Solar will bring Ontario closer to the FIT’s goal of phasing out coal-fired power generation in the province by 2014. They will also create green jobs via construction and maintenance, as well as additional work in peripheral industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure. To keep up with the demand for solar personnel, institutions like Ontario Solar Academy offer educational opportunities, such as PV certification programs, to help train workers in the province for the realities of tomorrow’s green job market.
GE recognizes solar’s important role in the future of energy generation. “We see significant growth potential for solar power worldwide,” says the company’s Managing Director, Mark Tonner, “which continues to improve on technology costs and efficiencies….” With the help of the provincial government and Ontario’s trained workers, GE and Plutonic will do their parts to bring these technologies to Canadians, to help the environment and create a healthier future.
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