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Our BatchGeo world MAP shows the locations of green architecture, green building and renewable energy projects featured on Solaripedia.

Project

Sarnia Becomes Largest PV Farm (Ontario)

Credits: ©2010 Enbridge

Enbridge Inc. launched the world's largest operating photovoltaic farm, beaming 80 megawatts of solar power onto Ontario, Canada's electricity grid as of September 2010. The Sarnia Solar Project, located across a 950-acre (873,000 square meters) farm in Sarnia, Ontario, near Port Huron, Michigan, incorporates more than 1.3 million thin-film solar modules manufactured by First Solar. In addition to generating about 120,000 MWh per year of emissions-free power, the Sarnia Solar Project produces no waste and uses PV technology that was designed to create the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology available. Enbridge expects the facility to generate enough power to meet the needs of about 12,800 homes. The project is reported to have used no water during its construction and was completed without noise pollution and with limited material waste. Sarnia is an expansion of an existing 20 MW solar power plant built at the same site. The current 60 MW expansion was constructed at a cost of $300 million Canadian Dollars, which is less than $5 USD per watt of power production. Enbridge also announced its plans to recycle the used solar modules at the end of their useful life. The company estimated that installation of the solar farm provided employment to about 800 people during its peak period of construction, and extended job opportunities to design and engineering companies in the area as well as for service providers, suppliers and sub-contractors.

 

Sarnia Solar Farm Aerial

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian energy company, achieved commercial completion of the 80-megawatt Sarnia Solar Project in September 2010, making the project the largest operating photovoltaic facility in the world at the time. ©2010 Enbridge

Enbridge's green energy assets include seven wind farms, a geothermal project, four waste heat recovery facilities and a commercial application of integrated energy recovery and fuel cell technology. The total generating capacity (in operation and under construction) of the green energy projects in which Enbridge has invested is almost 850 MW, which is enough energy to meet the needs of about 292,000 homes. First Solar will operate and maintain the Sarnia Solar Project for Enbridge under a long-term contract. First Solar developed, engineered, and constructed the facility, using its advanced thin film solar panels. With this project, First Solar expects to install 145 MW in North America (2010).

At a glance:

Capacity peak: about 80 MW of emissions-free power

Power purchaser: Ontario Power Authority

Facility size: Located on 950 acres

Panel surface area: about 966,000 square meters, which is about 1.3 million thin film panels from First Solar

Annual yield: about 120,000 MWh

CO2 savings: over 39,000 tons per year

Jobs created: About 800 jobs created at construction peak, as well as indirect benefits to dozens of businesses in the Sarnia area, including engineering and design firms, construction subcontractors, suppliers and service providers.

About Enbridge
Enbridge is a Calgary-based energy and pipeline company that has focused on the transportation and distribution of oil and natural gas but is moving towards cleaner power solutions. The power that is produced by the Sarnia facility is being sold to the Ontario Power Authority with a 20-year solar power-purchase agreement. The project partner, First Solar is an Arizona-based manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels. Enbridge bought the Sarnia project from First Solar last year for US$100m, and then boosted Sarnia’s capacity to 80MW in September 2010, investing US$300m in the process. To put the size of the power plant in perspective, the next largest photovoltaic power plant in the US is the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Florida that is rated at 25 MW of peak generating capacity. Enbridge's other green energy assets include interests in seven wind farms, a geothermal project, four waste heat recovery facilities and a commercial application of integrated energy recovery and fuel cell technology. The total generating capacity (in operation and under construction) of the green energy projects in which Enbridge has invested is almost 850 MW, which is enough energy to meet the needs of about 292,000 homes.


Resources

First Solar (USA)

Enbridge Energy (Canada)