Solar Power in Ontario
The solar farms that Penn is developing in Ontario will employ stationary photovoltaic (PV) modules installed in fields on fixed racks oriented towards the Southern sky. They have no moving parts, emit no waste or emissions and are virtually silent in operation. These solar farms produce clean power during the hours of the day when it is most needed (on-peak) and do so in a way that is infinitely sustainable. Although there are various solar technologies in use in different parts of the world, Penn’s focus in Ontario is exclusively on the development of solar farms using stationary PV modules employing leading crystalline silicon technology because of the advantages of PV technology over other forms of power generation. A solar PV farm consumes no water at any point in the power production cycle and has minimal impact upon the lands upon which it is installed. Most of the lands remain open. The solar project can usually follow existing grades and the only point of contact between each array of solar panels and the earth are the posts upon which the array is mounted. This means that there is virtually no change to the way that water flows on the site.
Community-based solar PV farms can be located where energy is needed to power our homes, businesses and schools. This is part of a power generation strategy known as Distributed Generation. This strategy has significant benefits. It reduces energy losses associated with transporting electricity over long distances and reduces congestion on the transmission grid by sourcing energy where it is needed. Following the principles of Distributed Generation, Penn’s projects will connect to the electrical distribution lines that already exist to serve the community. These medium-voltage distribution lines are typically mounted on single poles and already located alongside existing roads to bring power to the community. Large-scale, high-voltage transmission lines and big transmission structures are not required.
Penn is an active participant in the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed In Tariff Program (FIT). The Ontario Power Authority is seeking to: diversify Ontario’s power supply; promote the development of clean renewable power sources in Ontario; phase-out the operation of the Province’s coal-fired power plants; and boost economic activity and employment within Ontario by encouraging renewable energy companies to enter and/or expand in the Ontario market to create jobs and make Ontario a leader in the renewable energy industry. The FIT program has extensive domestic content requirements for the equipment, materials, labor and other aspects of these projects which must be obtained from within Ontario in order to promote the development of manufacturing, investment and employment in the renewable energy industry in Ontario.
Penn has proposed a number of solar farm projects in locations throughout the Province, but primarily in Southern and Eastern Ontario where the vast majority of the power is consumed. To date, the OPA has entered into contracts with Penn for the delivery of clean, renewable, solar power from three of Penn’s proposed solar farm sites. Penn’s other proposed project sites are awaiting further evaluation from the OPA and are under study by Penn to determine their feasibility. Here is a list of Penn’s proposed Solar Farm Projects.
Penn is currently in the process of studying, evaluating and performing due diligence investigations regarding each of its proposed projects. In order for a project to proceed to development, it must receive final approval pursuant to the Renewable Energy Approval process that has been established in accordance with Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009 and the Environmental Protection Act, Part V.0.1, Ontario Regulation 359-09. This process is designed to ensure that each project is carefully evaluated from a number of perspectives and that input is sought from the Public, Aboriginal Communities, Municipalities, Local Authorities and others. Here is a list of the Studies and Consultations that will typically be performed by Penn for each project. As part of the Renewable Energy Approval Process, Penn will be conducting two Public Meetings regarding each project. The first meeting is to introduce the proposed project to the community and to obtain the community’s input regarding the proposal. The second meeting is to present the results of the required Studies and Consultations to the public.
Penn will then seek final approvals to construct and develop the project, which would mark the beginning of a long-term relationship with the community. Penn’s involvement with a project does not typically end with its development. Penn has a long-history of owning and operating the projects that it develops and looks forward to being a considerate and conscientious member of the community. With quiet, clean operations and no waste, emissions or moving parts, Penn’s solar farms are low-impact projects that produce on-peak renewable energy to power the homes, businesses and schools in the community. The projects are completely sustainable and the power that they produce is infinitely renewable.
Penn is seeking to source the resources for the development, construction and operation of these solar farms locally. We are looking to employ local Ontario residents as well as Ontario vendors, contractors, suppliers, engineers, consultants and others for the development and operations of these projects. If you are a talented and experienced self-starter (or represent a company that fits this description) and want to make a difference in the world, please send us your resume and/or company information. In particular, we are seeking experienced power engineers, civil engineers and people with project management skills from Ontario as well as people with ideas and experience in agricultural operations that might be co-located with the solar farms.
The Penn Group of Companies has been in business for over twenty-five years and has successfully developed more than fifty innovative projects. The projects have varied, but our commitment to success and to the environmental practices that we employ have not. Penn is focused on developing high-quality projects that increase the quality of life. We look forward to employing the best environmental practices as well as people and companies in Ontario to develop and operate these solar farms. We believe that these projects will help advance the environmental and economic goals of the Province and help Ontario become a leader in the renewable energy industry in North America, bringing jobs, investment and a cleaner environment to Ontario. Please join us.