Skip to content

PUC announces solar project

NEWS RELEASE DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP ***************************** Orazietti announces green energy project with PUC Province helps create new jobs, diversify local economy and protect the environment SAULT STE.
0
SolarPanels_long

NEWS RELEASE

DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP

***************************** Orazietti announces green energy project with PUC

Province helps create new jobs, diversify local economy and protect the environment

SAULT STE. MARIE - The province’s landmark Green Energy Act is continuing to improve infrastructure and the environment in Sault Ste. Marie by approving the local Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for yet another Feed-in-Tariff project that is allowing for solar panels to be mounted on the roof of the Water Treatment Plant, David Orazietti, MPP announced today.

“Our government’s landmark renewable energy strategy is allowing municipalities, utilities and local businesses, as well as schools, including colleges and universities, to install solar panels, which benefits the environment, reduces pressure on the electricity grid and creates longer-term revenue,” said Orazietti. “With approximately $1 billion in alternative energy investments in the Sault and area in recent years, and solar panels made here in our city used in this local project, we should all be concerned about political parties in Ontario, who if elected, would cost Sault Ste. Marie hundreds of high-quality jobs.”

The new solar electric energy system on the roof of the Water Treatment Plant consists of 461 solar panels that will generate 132 KWH of green energy to help operate the treatment plant as well as provide approximately $2 million in revenue for the PUC over the next 20 years.

The new solar system will reduce negative emission from the plant equal to the carbon dioxide created by automobiles driving over twelve million kilometers.

In addition to improving the environment, this project used solar panels from a local manufacturer and used local workers to install the solar modules.

“The Ontario Green Energy Act is the most visionary program for renewable power generation in North America and Heliene Inc. is proud to have made the solar modules that are on top of the local Water Treatment Plant,” said Martin Pochtaruk, president of Heliene Inc. “We need this alternative energy program to remain in place for years to come in order to replace old coal-power generation with modern green technologies and, more importantly, we need this framework to stay in place to provide our youth with a sustainable future, clean air and value added manufacturing jobs.”

Since opening in October of 2010, Heliene Inc. has built over 70,000 solar modules, which has created over 60 high-tech manufacturing value-added jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.  

Heliene Inc. is currently forecasting over $3 million in annual salaries and another $4 million of indirect economic development for Sault Ste. Marie.

“Superior Energy Solutions is a local EPCM contractor that added 10 local full time temporary employees to do the engineering, system design and installation of the solar panels on the water treatment plant,” said Ted Curry of Superior Energy Solutions. “As a result of the province’s Feed-in-Tariff green energy program our company has grown form 2 employees at the beginning of 2010 to 22 employees today.”

“One year ago, PUC Services installed 24 solar panels with a total output of 5.28 kW on the roof of a pumping station to gain experience on the effectiveness of solar panels converting sunlight into electricity,” said Brian Curran, president and CEO of PUC Inc. “The performance of the panels gave us the confidence to proceed with the installation of 461 solar panels with a total output of 138 kW on the roof of the water treatment plant. Total cost of the installation is $864,000 with a large portion of the equipment and labour obtained from local suppliers. Annual revenue under the province’s Feed-in Tariff program is expected to be $110,028, a portion of which will go towards offsetting water treatment costs. The savings are in addition to the environmental benefits of generating electricity without any emissions.”

The green energy sector has already created over 900 construction jobs and 110 permanent jobs in the Sault and Algoma region.

Most recently, the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) provided $50,000 to create a comprehensive alternative energy strategy as well as another $50,000 to install solar panels on the roof of Algoma University’s George Leach Centre, which is expected to create 159 KWH of power and generate annual revenues of $127,000 a year that will be shared between the University and the Sault Ste. Marie PUC.

Key provincial investments that are transforming Sault Ste. Marie into the green energy capital of North America while also strengthening the local economy and creating jobs in the Sault and Algoma include:

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $400 million investment by Brookfield Renewable Power in 189 MW wind farm

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $300 million investment by Starwood Energy in 60 MW solar farm

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $175 million investment by St. Mary’s Paper in 30 MW biomass co-gen plant

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $135 million investment by Essar Steel in 70 MW co-gen plant

- Over $7 million to green Sault Ste. Marie schools including energy retrofits

- $7.4 million in provincial gas tax funding to increase ridership for public transit also reducing air emissions

- $2.5 million for Heliene Canada to build a $10 million solar module manufacturing plant

- $2 million for Ellsin Environmental tire recycling project

- $1.4 million to construct methane collection system at landfill to reduce greenhouse gases

- $900,000 for Elementa project for bio-conversion

- $50,000 for AU solar project

- $50,000 for Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) to create alternative energy strategy

- FIT and microfit programs

- Completed north Sault Ste. Marie transmission line upgrades - greater electricity stability   ***************************** ///