International fuel designer and manufacturer, Quantum Technologies, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with German solar company, Asola, to establish a manufacturing plant in Ontario. The joint venture have the two companies team up with Canadian partner, Evergreen Power Ltd, to produce and distribute high quality solar modules throughout Canada.
Asola will bring to Ontario leading technologies and best practices from Germany, a country that boasts the largest solar market in the world. The manufacturing facility, which will be located near Toronto, will reproduce many of the proven features of Asola’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Germany, including its equipment, processes, and quality control measures. Quantum, which owns a 25% interest in Asola, has announced that the business collaboration will also include marketing efforts for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules throughout Ontario and Canada.
Ontario’s Growing Solar Market Attracting Global Interest and Investment
Last fall, the provincial government introduced a new feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which allows homeowners, businesses, and farmers to sell solar power back to the grid system. The program has become more popular than anticipated, resulting in increased demand for solar installation, thus, attracting global energy powerhouses to come and manufacture in Ontario. Given the overall decline in manufacturing throughout the province, this is surely welcome news for the economy as a whole.
The Ontario Power Authority announced that it received more than 16,000 applications for solar projects since the FIT was introduced last October. This wave of interest provides many opportunities for solar installers, thus, boosting demand for training in PV design and installation skills. Solar training schools such as Ontario Solar Academy now offer comprehensive courses in solar installation to help satisfy growing demand for qualified PV professionals within the province.
Alan P. Niedzwiecki, President and CEO of Quantum, commented that Ontario “is one of the fastest growing solar energy markets in the world.” Niedzwiecki also stated that an “aging grid and recent blackouts have highlighted the importance of distributed generation and created a sense of urgency” in the solar installation market. Reinhard Wecker, founder and CEO of Asola, also stated that the company was “looking forward to quickly launching [their] products into the fast growing Ontario market.”
Demand for solar training in Ontario is certain to increase, given the rise in applications for solar projects. If international solar manufacturing companies continue to show interest in the booming Ontario market, then it could be on its way to rivalling Germany’s.
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Ontario Solar Academy uses NABCEP learning objectives to quickly advance expertise in solar design and installation. Its 5-Day Solar PV Training includes hands-on workshops that prepare participants for NABCEP’s PV Entry Level Exam.