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Solar Energy News

What's happening around the world in the solar industry and how it might affect you

SunEdison, the pioneer of the solar power-purchase agreements, and a developer and financier of solar installations, recently announced that it won contracts for 31 megawatts (MWs) of solar photovoltaic projects from The Ontario Power Authority under the province's new feed-in tariff program.

The province changed its feed-in tariff from the former Renewable Standard Offer Program in January 2011. Under Ontario's feed-in tariff, solar power producers like SunEdison are paid a fixed-price—over a 20-year period—for electricity produced by the system. The price varies by system size and mounting system.

Under the new feed-in tariff, SunEdison will receive payments of 44 cents (Canadian) per kilowatt hour produced at three 10-MW installations, two in Rideau Lakes and one in South Stormont. The company will receive payments of 53.9 cents (Canadian) per kilowatt hour produced at two 500 kilowatt projects, one in Mississauga, the other in Whitby.

Under the standard option program, solar systems were able to receive a feed-in tariff of 42 cents (Canadian) per kilowatt hour produced. SunEdison installed 28 MWs of photovoltaics under the old program.

Qualification for the new feed-in tariff program has a domestic content provision that must be met.

“The domestic content requirements have been put in place by the Ontario government to help stimulate job creation in the province. SunEdison is proud to be contributing to green job development in Ontario,” said Jason Gray, vice president and country manager of SunEdison Canada. “In order to participate in the feed-in tariff program as determined by the Ontario government and the Green Energy Act, renewable energy providers must comply with the 60 percent domestic content requirements, which come into effect in January of 2011.”

To meet the requirement, SunEdison parent company, MEMC Corp. (NYSE: WFR) partnered with Flextronics to create solar panels locally, Gray said.

“We are also creating racking systems in Scarborough Ontario through a local manufacturer,” he said. “By meeting the domestic content requirements, SunEdison will be able to complete their pre-existing projects as well as continue to grow the number of solar energy projects in Ontario.”

While the company has won the contracts, the project installation dates have not been determined at this time, Gray said.

Image courtesy of SunEdison.