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First Solar Ups its game with C$90million from Enbridge

The two projects will be based in Ontario, Canada and will provide 5MW and 15MW of solar energy. Construction is expected to begin in March 2011, and be completed in Q3 2011.

Enbridge is to acquire two new solar energy projects from First Solar based on its CdTe thin film PV solar technology.

The two projects-the Tilbury Solar Project and the Amherstburg II Solar Project-are both in Ontario, Canada, and together, have a generating capacity of 20 megawatts (MW). Enbridge's investment in the Tilbury and Amherstburg Solar Projects is approximately C$90 million.

"Following closely on the heels of the successful completion of our 80-MW Sarnia Solar Project, we're pleased to add another 20 MW of solar generating capacity to our renewable energy portfolio," said Al Monaco, President, Gas Pipelines, Green Energy & International, Enbridge.

"We think the fundamentals of the renewable energy business are strong as electricity demand will continue to grow, and renewable energy is well positioned to meet a significant portion of the demand."

"These agreements demonstrate continued momentum in First Solar's project development business," said Frank DeRosa, First Solar Senior VP of North American project development. "We are very pleased to extend our relationship with Enbridge that began with Sarnia, and to work together to increase renewable energy generation in Canada."

The 5MW Tilbury Solar Project is located in Tilbury, Ontario. First Solar completed construction on this project in December 2010.

The Amherstburg II Solar Project is located in Amherstburg, Ontario, which is about 70 kilometres from Tilbury. It has two separate facilities that, together, total 15 MW. Construction is expected to begin in March 2011, and to be completed in Q3 2011.

Under the terms of the agreements, the projects will include fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts. First Solar will also provide operations and maintenance services to Enbridge under long-term contracts.

Enbridge will sell the facilities power output to the Ontario Power Authority pursuant to 20-year Power Purchase Agreements under the terms of the Ontario Government's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

The Tilbury project will have a maximum capacity of about 5 MW and the net area of solar panels on the site is expected to be around 15 acres. With approximately 89,000 solar panels, the firm expects an annual yield of approximately 7 million kWh (corresponding to the annual consumption of about 800 homes). The project hopes to achieve CO2 savings of about 2,500 tonnes per year and provide 300 jobs.

The Amherstburg II Solar Project, with a capacity peak of about 15 MW expects to provide 244,000 solar panels on 43 acres. With an annual yield of around 23 million kWh providing 2,400 homes, CO2 savings should amount to about 7,500 tonnes per year. The work force is expected to be between 300 and 400.
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