Electrical Business

News
Silfab and Agris Solar Co-op to supply 9.3MW to over 1000 Ontario farmers


April 29, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

April 29, 2011

Less than two weeks after the grand opening of its new Ontario PV module manufacturing facility, Silfab Canada has signed a contract with farmer owned co-op Agris Solar to supply 9.3MW/30,000 Ontario-made solar panels to more than 1000 local farmers. The production line has started and will reach 90 MW annual capacity by the middle of the year and 180 MW by 2012.

Agris Solar will receive the first tranche of the Silfab’s new line, and will continue to receive supply until April next year, allowing Agris Solar to complete its extensive portfolio of microFIT photovoltaic installations with a maximum of 10 kW each, said the companies. Agris Solar began construction of the first 10 kW microFIT systems in early February and will continue to build throughout the coming year with the goal to have more 1000 microFIT installations completed throughout rural Ontario.

The total 9.3 MW corresponds to approximately 30,000 photovoltaic modules made from 60 or 72 mono-crystalline silicon cells. They are said to provide an estimated clean energy production of 10.6 million kW/h a year and 150 million tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the plants.  

“With Agris Solar,” said Franco Traverso, president and CEO of Silfab Ontario, “we have found a partner of great quality, that considers photovoltaics from not only an economic perspective, but also from an environmental and social viewpoint.”

In accordance with the local incentive program requirements, the modules chosen by Agris Solar and produced by Silfab are the SLA 235-250 and SLA 285-300, respectively composed of 60 and 72 mono-crystalline high efficiency silicon cells and with power up to 300Wp.

“These maximum performance modules, which are extremely reliable and durable, are guaranteed to have a prolonged life at the highest levels of energy efficiency,” said the companies.

“Early in our process we identified the need to work with a quality manufacturer and a top management team” said Andrew Clark, general manager of Agris Solar and CEO of Spark Solar. “Our members and lender required a manufacturer with the track record, experience and quality of product that would provide performance for the twenty years of our contracts with the OPA and beyond, we believe, we have found that with Silfab.”

Silfab high efficiency modules, produced in Ontario in accordance with the Feed-In Tariff program’s domestic content requirements, have been selected by Agris Solar for its portfolio of aggregated microFIT installations to be launched starting this month for a total of 9.3 MW.

The microFIT Program is a stream of the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program for renewable energy in Ontario, intended to encourage the development of “micro-scale” renewable energy projects across the province.

Owners of these projects will be paid a fixed price for the electricity they produce. Prices are set at a level intended to enable project owners to recover the costs of the projects, as well as to earn a reasonable return on their investment over the term of the contract.