The largest solar photovoltaic (PV) facility in the world was completed last month. This facility is now online and is producing up to 80 megawatts of electricity. But the surprising factor is where this facility is located. It's not in the desert southwest of the United States, nor is it in China nor in Europe. Instead, the Sarnia Solar facility is in Ontario, Canada, across the border from the state of Michigan.
Partners Enbridge Energy and First Solar announced the completion of the facility earlier this month. The facility uses First Solar's thin-film panels to in order to have a very low carbon footprint for the facility. The Sarnia Solar facility eclipses the 60 MW Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park in Spain, which until now had held the record for the largest PV facility.
The very favorable feed-in tarrif established by the government of Ontario was certainly a factor in this project being located where it is. The Sarnia-Lambton area also has very high solar potential (PDF), which makes it favorable for a major PV installation. According to the companies' press release, "Enbridge will sell the power output of the facility to the Ontario Power Authority pursuant to 20-year Power Purchase Agreements under the terms of the Ontario government's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program." Total power production is expected to be 120,000 MWh per year, which the company says will be enough to meet the needs of about 12,800 homes.
Hat tip to ThorsDigest!
written by Bill, November 03, 2010
written by John Wood, November 12, 2010
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