Big news today in Guelph as a well-known and accomplished Chinese manufacturer of solar modules is moving to town to set up a shop. This is good news for the 300-500 jobs that will be put on the block for Guelphites, as well as fulfilling the promise of bring more green jobs to the city, which has been a heavily campaigned topic in recent elections. To the press release:
GUELPH, ON, August 11, 2010 – Canadian Solar Inc., the world’s eighth largest solar module company, announced today it will establish a solar module manufacturing facility in Guelph, bringing 300 to 500 jobs to the city. The facility will be one of the largest on the continent.
"Today’s announcement by Canadian Solar Inc. means hundreds of good jobs for Guelph,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge at this morning’s announcement at 545 Speedvale Ave in Guelph, future home of Canadian Solar’s facility. “It shows early success of the City’s economic development plan, Prosperity 2020, and represents the number one objective of the Community Energy Initiative, which is to position Guelph as a place to invest.”
City officials and Canadian Solar executives are attributing today’s announcement in large part to Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative—Guelph’s ambitious and internationally recognized plan to use less energy in 25 years than it does today, consume less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities, and produce less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average.
With cities around the world watching Guelph’s innovative model of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, today’s announcement is a strong example of the Community Energy Initiative in action; government, business, investors, and citizens working together to build sustainable communities as a way to address the most serious ecological challenge of our time: climate change.
“We chose Ontario and Guelph because of the province’s and city’s strong research and development, and the local and provincial governments’ commitment to investing in a low carbon economy,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman, President and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc. “The site selection for the new facility spread across Ontario, but in the end Guelph was chosen over several major cities as a result of its commitment to making sustainability the hallmark of the community through the Community Energy Initiative.”
Since the adoption of the Plan on which Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative was based, the Province of Ontario has implemented the Green Energy Act, helping to spawn a very active solar energy market.
“Guelph is another example of Ontario’s success in attracting clean energy investment and jobs,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “Canadian Solar’s decision to locate its first North American manufacturing plant in Guelph is a great vote of confidence in the city, the province, and the Green Energy Act.”
Guelph MPP Liz Sandals added, “Canadian Solar’s announcement of a new solar panel manufacturing facility in Guelph demonstrates the success of Ontario’s Green Energy Act in generating new investments in solar energy. And, the creation of hundreds of new jobs begins Guelph’s transformation to a new green economy."
Canadian Solar Inc.’s Guelph facility is valued at about $24 million, with the first phase of operations expected to begin later this year. At full capacity the facility’s total output will generate solar-based power that exceeds the entire current electrical demand of the Guelph community. The Guelph facility will be Canadian Solar Inc.’s first outside of China.
Additionally, Organic Meadow and Steen’s Dairy opened a new facility in Guelph today. Carol Mitchell, Ontario Minister of Agrculture, Food and Rural Affairs was in attendance along with many of the farmers who supply the dairy.