Canadian Manufacturing

Atlantic Solar completes $3-million power plant

Solar installation set to start operating under feed-in-tariff contract rates

Toronto—Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. has completed a $3-million utility-scale solar power plant in Mississauga, ON.

The 500 KW rooftop installation consists of approximately 2,300 solar panels and will provide 12,500 megawatt hours of electricity over the next two decades, the company reported.

Atlantic Wind & Solar announced the project last April. With construction complete, the developer is now awaiting regulatory approval to start generating. The power from the commercial facility will be sold under Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program.

FIT was developed in 2009 to promote renewable energy sources in electricity generation, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO); formerly the Ontario Power Authority. The program’s long-term goal is to replace coal-fired generation with the use of resources including solar, wind, waterpower, biogas, landfill gas, and renewable biomass.

Under the program, power generation facilities can receive a 20-year contract to receive a fixed price for the electricity produced, according to the IESO. The pricing varies depending on the type of renewable fuel and the size of the project. The current price for power generated by a landfill gas plant is 17.1 ¢/kwh, while the rate for a rooftop solar facility ranges up to 38.4 ¢/kwh.

On top of the contract price, the FIT program offers increases in pay to reflect the costs of developing, operating and maintaining certain projects. To qualify for price increases the project must have at least 15 per cent participation levels from the public sector, communities, municipalities, or Aboriginal groups.

A 35 per cent increase is also applied to the contract price for energy produced during peak periods.

The contract rates for the new solar installations will range up to 71.3 ¢/kwh, according to Atlantic Solar.

The Toronto-based renewable energy asset developer reports it has projects in progress around the world amounting to more than 650 megawatts of capacity.

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