SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic materials and North America’s largest solar energy services provider, along with project partner SkyPower, a Canadian renewable energy developer, have been awarded the Solar PV Project of the Year for Ground Mount by the Canadian solar association CanSIA. The award was presented for the 9.1-megawatt (MW) First Light Solar Energy Park in Stone Mills, Ontario, the largest solar energy park built to date in Canada.
“The First Light Solar Energy Park’s grand opening made solar dreams real for a lot of people in the industry – not just in Ontario – but across the country. For being the spark that is without question the very first big bright light of solar in Canada – but certainly not the last, we offer our congratulations, said” Honourable George Smitherman, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy & Infrastructure.
The system, covering 90 acres of land, approximately the size of 50 Canadian football fields, began transmitting energy to Hydro One Networks, the largest electricity transmission and distribution company in Ontario, on September 30. SunEdison and SkyPower expect First Light to generate more than 10 million kilowatt hours (kWhs), enough electricity to power approximately 1,000 homes in its first year of operation, the equivalent of taking almost 1,800 cars off the road and removing 8,000 metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
Commenting on the award, SunEdison president and executive VP of MEMC Carlos Domenech said, “We are honoured that we have been recognized along with our partner, SkyPower, with such a prestigious award from CanSIA. It is a reflection of SunEdison’s commitment to Canada, and underscores the opportunities for renewable energy made possible in Ontario. SunEdison looks forward to continued development of rooftop and ground mount solar systems throughout the Province, and throughout Canada.”
During construction of First Light, SunEdison and SkyPower worked closely with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources to successfully preserve habitat for the endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike. First Light was built on bedrock that would have had limited use for other development, meeting the priority for protecting agricultural lands.