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Drouin Farms enjoys FIT-compliant solar energy system


October 7, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

October 7, 2011 – Drouin Farms, a family-run egg producer who has made the commitment to move to organic farming, is now taking its operations solar with a 250-kW solar energy system.

“Solar is the future, just like organic farming, and we are proud to be part of the future,” said Jean Francois Drouin, president of Drouin Farms. “Not only did we want to keep our dollars local and support the FIT program,” continued Drouin, “but it was important to us to work with a company like Ottawa Solar Power, that shared a strong interest in the project’s success. Conergy and Ottawa Solar Power have been great partners.”

The solar energy system was installed by Ottawa Solar Power, a provider of solar solutions in Eastern Ontario. Leveraging Ontario’s FIT (feed-in-tariff) program, the solar energy system will provide Drouin Farms an additional revenue stream to diversify its income and expands its operations. The over 300,000 kWh/year solar project will produce energy generation revenue that is expected to achieve up to 11% ROI and reach its financial break-even point in less than eight years.

“Our company was excited that Drouin Farms decided to work with an experienced solar installation company for this project,” said Michael McGahern, president of Ottawa Solar Power. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for our organization to showcase our 15 years of renewable energy experience on such a large-scale project.”

The FIT and microFIT programs have allowed Ottawa Solar Power to triple its workforce, creating new jobs and opportunities for workers. Ottawa Solar Power hired recent college graduates that were enrolled in renewable energy courses at Ontario colleges and took on a co-op student who was studying renewable energy engineering at Carleton University. In 2011, Ottawa Solar Power hired 12 new people, and directly injected over $1.5 million dollars into the local economy and over $3 million into the economy of Ontario.

“The FIT and microFIT programs have been very successful in accomplishing their goals of increasing employment and bringing local manufacturing to Ontario,” said Jared Donald, president of Conergy Canada. “Today, the province’s solar industry supports the equivalent of 8200 full-time solar jobs. The FIT program’s local content requirements have attracted both established international manufacturers, like Conergy, as well as some new startup organizations to Ontario.”

The solar energy system uses 1248 Conergy ON modules. Conergy provided PV design and engineering support, and pre- and post-construction consultation for the Drouin Farms solar energy system. The Conergy ON modules are manufactured for Conergy in Ontario, meeting Ontario Power Authority local content requirements.