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Ontario gets solar farm

By Steve in the UK     Apr 27, 2007 in Technology
Ontario is to get a new 40-meagawatt solar farm which should be online in 2010. This will be the largest solar farm in North America and will supply emission-free electricity to around 6,000 homes.
Canadian province's energy minister said on Thursday at OptiSolar Farms Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Hayward, Calif.-based OptiSolar Inc. will start to build the new solar farm in 2008.
"This is an exciting development in Ontario's quest for cleaner power and in our efforts to minimize our ecological footprint," Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan told a news conference.
This new solar farm will be 2.5 times bigger than the next largest in North America which was announced only last week. The 15-megawatt solar farm that is to be built at an air force base in Nevade
The cost of this 40-megawatt system has not yet been stated but an average 10-megawatt farm costs around C$80 million, said Peter Carrie, vice-president of OptiSolar Farms Canada Inc.
The nearly one million solar panels will be mounted up to 7 meters above the ground on the 365 hectare site
Solar generators in Canada get paid 42 cents per Kilowatt-hour that they generate, So a 40-megawatt solar farm could earn up to C$16,800 an hour if running at full output during the day. But zero cents over night.
I wonder if they will be building a wind farm near by to provide electricity over night.
The Ontario Power Authority has agreed to purchase the electricity under a 20-year contract that will see the power go into the provincial grid.
This is one of 14 solar project awarded though Ontario's Standard Offer Program, which aims to add 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy to Ontario's main grid over the next 10 years. This scheme sets a fixed price for small renewable energy projects, which makes it easier for investors to work out what they pay back will be. It's already hard for them to do this given the nature of solar and wind powered energy.
Hope this project comes online at the stated date and does not go to far over budget. Schemes like this should also help to bring the cost of solar panels down which would make it easier for private individuals to install them on they own homes.
More about Ontario, Gets, Solar farm