Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid’s visit to SunE Sky solar park in Norfolk County, Ontario underscores the province’s commitment to green energy, jobs and investment


Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid visited SunE Sky Ryerse today, one of two solar PV parks in Norfolk County (near Simcoe) which are under construction with a combined total solar energy capacity of 18 MW. He was joined by his Energy Parliamentary Assistant and MPP for Brant, Dave Levac, Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale, as well as senior representatives from joint venture partners SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), and SkyPower Limited who are developing the solar parks.

Construction of the SunE Sky Norfolk parks, for which the capital investment approximates $80 to $90 million dollars, commenced on March 25th of this year and will be completed this fall. Together, they are expected to generate over 19 million KWh of clean electricity in their first year of operation and almost 400 million kWh over 20 years. To put this into context, the initiative will generate enough electricity to power 33,000 homes and avoid over 250 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“These solar parks represent an important step in Ontario’s effort to become a leader in the global clean energy market,” said Minister Duguid. “Not only will increasing the province’s renewable energy capacity offer environmental and economic benefits to the province, but it will help us accomplish our goal of phasing out dirty coal-fired power by 2014.”

After receiving a tour of SunE Sky Ryerse at the height of construction, Minister Duguid, Parliamentary Assistant Levac and Mayor Travale had the opportunity to meet with the labour force constructing the project, more than 90% of which is comprised of regional contractors who will directly benefit from the clean energy produced at the parks.“A workforce of over 150 is actively completing the Norfolk County solar parks,” noted Jason Gray,SunEdison’s Vice President, Canada. “I know I speak for our entire development and construction team when I say that we’re proud to support the Green Energy Act, and a greener future for Ontario.”

Kerry Adler, President and CEO of SkyPower added, “We are proud to be an industry leader of a new era of renewable energy in Ontario. The SunE Sky projects in Norfolk are great examples of how the Government of Ontario’s renewable energy policy, community foresight and industry innovation are working together to attract large investments, create new green jobs and enhance green skills while helping to combat climate change. We thank Minister Duguid and his staff for their visit today, and the Government of Ontario for their support and commitment to the green energy industry and to ensuring that solar parks like the two Norfolk projects can be built. We look forward to completing many more projects like these in the months ahead in our effort to help us meet our objective of generating a brighter future for all Ontarians.”

These aren’t the first solar projects that SunEdison and SkyPower Limited have developed together. The JV partnership received CanSIA’s award for the “Solar PV (photovoltaic) Project of the Year” in 2009 for First Light I, the first fully-operational, utility-scale solar park in Canada.