In June 2012, Mitsubishi Corporation and Osaka Gas acquired a nine project portfolio in Ontario, at commercial operation of each project. The first six projects of the 101 MWp/74 MWac portfolio reached commercial operation in early 2013, with the final three projects – Smiths Falls 1, Smiths Falls 3, and Smiths Falls 4 – commencing operation in early 2014.
The electricity generated from the portfolio, known as “Aurora,” will be delivered to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) through 20-year feed-in tariff agreements. The nine projects are located near the Smiths Falls and Waubaushene regions in southern Ontario.
The Aurora portfolio generates enough clean solar electricity to power approximately 12,300 average homes in Ontario a year. Development and operation of the nine projects also created more than 1,100 jobs across multiple sectors, including local manufacturing, engineering, construction, and related services. In aggregate, Ontario residents accounted for 98 percent of all construction hours worked across the nine projects.
Recurrent Energy’s project siting efforts targeted land that was growing lower-value crops and with little or no habitat value for protected species. Several of the projects in the Aurora portfolio are located on top of Canadian Shield, one of the world’s largest geologic continental shields. Canadian Shield is covered in most places by only a thin layer of soil, which makes the sites ideal for solar development and less conducive for agricultural production.
Including these nine projects, Recurrent Energy has developed and constructed a total of 20 solar power plants across southern Ontario. The first projects in this 220 MWp/159 MWac portfolio began to come online in early 2013, with the final project reaching commercial operation in mid 2014. Recurrent Energy’s 20 projects are helping Ontario meet its ambitious goal to double the amount of energy generated from renewable sources by 2015. Across the 20 projects, more than 2,700 jobs were created, contributing to the Province’s goal of creating 50,000 jobs in the green energy industry. In addition, roughly 60 percent of the materials for the projects were made or sourced in Ontario, providing an important boost to the local economy. The 20 projects generate enough clean solar energy to power roughly 26,500 average Ontario homes a year.