When completed in the second half of 2010, it is expected to be the largest photovoltaic solar energy facility in North America. 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. This project achieved full commercial operation on December 7, 2009.
"We’re delighted to further strengthen our relationship with First Solar," said Patrick D. Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Enbridge, Inc. "First Solar has delivered the initial 20 MW as committed – demonstrating their strong technical competence combined with attention to meaningful community engagement and corporate social responsibility practices that align with our own values. "Enbridge has made significant strides in growing its green energy business in 2009.
With this investment, we will have interests in more than 470 megawatts of green power capacity from our five wind energy projects, expanded solar facilities, four waste heat recovery facilities and the world’s first commercial application of hybrid-fuel cell technology." "We welcome this new investment from Enbridge to expand the Sarnia project," said Bruce Sohn, President of First Solar.
"It demonstrates confidence in First Solar’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction team, which has recently completed the first 20 MW at Sarnia." Mr. Daniel noted that solar energy is a key component of Enbridge’s environmental performance strategy to invest in renewable and alternative energy sources that complement Enbridge’s core operations and provide environmental benefits.
"Our increased investment in the Sarnia Solar Project maintains risk and return characteristics which are fully consistent with Enbridge’s low-risk business model, and similar to our crude oil pipeline business," said Mr. Daniel. "The expansion of the Sarnia Solar Project will take advantage of the capacity of the Sarnia site to accommodate additional capacity. Following on our recently announced wind energy project, the Sarnia solar expansion provides a good balance in our renewable energy portfolio between solar and wind power."