Suntech's Ontario plans take shape

Chinese photovoltaic module manufactuer Suntech has announced that its 225W and 275W solar panels will qualify for the Canadian state of Ontario’s microFIT and FIT schemes. This is significant as Ontario’s FIT scheme requires projects to include 60 percent domestically produced content. The requirment came into effect at the beginning of 2011.

Suntech’s modules will now contribute 10 percent and 11 percent towards the microFIT and FIT schemes respectively, assisting project developers to achieve the domestic content requirments. A key factor to this is that the 225W and 275W panels use 100 percent Ontario-refined silicon. The two Suntech panels will now use silicon produced by Calisolar, in Vaughan Ontario.

In October last year Suntech and Calisolar announced their intention to build a solar silicon manufacturing facility at the site. As part of the deal, Suntech funded part of the new facility and signed a multi-year agreement to purchase the silicon produced there. The recent announcement regarding the 225Wp and 275Wp panel production using the Ontario silicon, appears to be the realization of both companies’ strategic vision for Ontario.

In a statement announcing the panels qualification, Calisolar CEO Sandra Beach Lin said, "This is a great opportunity for our two companies to help meet Ontario’s renewable energy goals while creating 75 high-quality jobs in Ontario."