Enbridge Inc. and First Solar, Inc. last week announced an agreement to expand the Sarnia Solar Project in Canada from 20 megawatts of capacity to 80 megawatts (MW), with a total system cost of approximately CDN $300 million for the expansion.
Enbridge and First Solar announced in October an agreement for Enbridge to acquire the initial 20 MW solar energy project that First Solar developed at the Sarnia site. The solar farm achieved full commercial operation on December 7, 2009.
When completed in the second half of next year, the Sarnia Solar Project is expected to be the largest solar panel based solar farm in North America.
Upon attaining the 80MW mark, Enbridge expects the Sarnia Solar Project will generate enough power to meet the needs of over 12,800 homes and help to save the equivalent of approximately 39,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted annually through traditional means of power generation.
The expanded solar farm will be massive, covering approximately 240 acres land consisting of 1.3 million thin film solar panels. Annual power generation is expected to be an estimated 120 million kilowatt hours.
With this investment added to its portfolio, Enbridge will have interests in more than 470 megawatts of green power capacity from five wind power projects, other solar farms, four waste heat recovery facilities and the world’s first commercial application of hybrid-fuel cell technology.
The power output of the 80 MW Sarnia Solar Project facility will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year power purchase agreement.