Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Groundbreaking of North America's Largest Solar Photovoltaic Energy Park, 19 MW

Joint venture partners SkyPower Corp., a Lehman Brothers Company, and SunEdison Canada announced today the official groundbreaking of First Light, North America's largest solar photovoltaic energy park to date, located on approximately 300 acres of land in Lennox & Addington County, Ontario. Construction of the 19-megawatt (MW) solar park is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2009. Local communities will benefit from clean renewable energy sufficient to power more than 2,000 homes annually.
The Government of Ontario in concert with the Ontario Power Authority, which launched the innovative Standard Offer Program in 2006, have created a unique program that provides a platform for stimulating investment and job creation in the renewable energy sector. The historic groundbreaking of First Light today demonstrates the strong support of the provincial government, municipal leaders, and communities and is a clear indication that Ontario's renewable energy targets are achievable. First Light is an important first step of many towards delivering secure, sustainable and clean energy to Ontarians for generations to come.
First Light will be built in two phases. The power generated from the project will be distributed through the Hydro One utility, providing clean energy to customers in the Township of Stone Mills for 20 years.
The environmental and health benefits of the two-phase facility are substantial. It is estimated that First Light will reduce yearly carbon emissions by an amount equal to displacing 4,200 cars and light trucks each driving 19,000 kilometers per year.
"This is an appropriate and valuable way to make use of this property," said the Reeve of the Township of Stone Mills, Debbie Thompson. "We are proud to say that Stone Mills Township will be home to North America's largest solar energy park."
"We are happy that our community will be contributing to the generation of clean, green energy for Ontarians," said the Warden of Lennox and Addington, Gord Schermerhorn. "This project is a welcome addition to our county's industrial base and we look forward to welcoming similar type projects in the future."
"The province commends SkyPower and SunEdison Canada for breaking ground on this very significant project," said Ontario Minister of Energy Gerry Phillips. "In just over one year, the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program has already exceeded its 10-year target of garnering 1,000 megawatts of contracted generation. We look forward to the program yielding success stories for years to come."
"Lehman Brothers is proud to be part of this project, and we salute the Province of Ontario and its leaders for their exemplary commitment to renewable energy. The issue of climate change is arguably one of the most important challenges we are facing, so it's inspiring to see such a wide range of constituencies - government, business, investors, and citizens - come together to build a mutually beneficial solution.
Through innovation, creativity and hard work, SkyPower, SunEdison and the Province of Ontario are 'making dirt fly' and, most important, putting assets in the ground to help mitigate climate change," stated Theodore Roosevelt IV, Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, and Chairman of the Firm's Global Council on Climate Change.
"This is an important day for solar energy but an even more significant moment for Ontario. Our continued commitment to solar energy is clear and our desire to make a difference for the generations to come is the motivation behind the tireless efforts and substantial investments we have made and continue to make in Ontario and other forward thinking jurisdictions in the world. We are fortunate to have the expertise of our partner SunEdison, whose experience, vision and approach to utility-scale PV solar projects has led to the successful design and groundbreaking of this project today," said Kerry Adler, CEO of SkyPower.
"First Light is possible because of a real commitment by the community and the leadership of Ontario to deliver clean renewable energy," stated Tom Rainwater, CEO of SunEdison. "We believe in working with strong local partners worldwide like SkyPower. The success of our joint venture is evidenced today with the groundbreaking of First Light. And the key to making this happen has been working hand-in-hand with the local community that will be home to these clean power plants."

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