Although site selection and other details such as costs and actual size of the plant have yet to be decided, Canadian Solar has announced plans to build a ~200MW module factory in Ontario, Canada, which could see ‘Phase 1’ in operational status by the end of 2010. The integrated PV manufacturer noted that Ontario’s attractive FiT (feed-in tariff) had shown considerable customer interest for ‘Made in Ontario’ solar systems. However, the FiT also stipulates that on larger PV installations 50% of the goods and labour need to have been sourced locally. This requirement will rise to 60% in 2011.
“Our new facility will help expand “green” skilled jobs and investment in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar (which is headquartered in Canada and has its current manufacturing operations in China). “Additionally, with this facility, our leading-edge photovoltaic technology will be manufactured and readily available in Ontario for those who are ready to take advantage of the FiT programs.”
Canadian Solar said that it expects to make definite decisions about the plant site, exact cost, and ultimate size in the first quarter of 2010. The company says that the new facility will cost at least C$24 million and could create 500 new manufacturing jobs in Ontario.
The company recently announced plans to increase solar module production capacity from 820MW to 1GW by the end of April 2010, while expanding internal cell capacity from 420MW to 700MW by June 2010.