TORONTO, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ - SkyPower Limited ("SkyPower") has signed an agreement with Fort Williams First Nation ("FWFN") for the development of a solar park project located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This solar project is the first of its kind in Canada to be built in partnership on Fort William First Nation Land.
"In Ontario, it is essential that we are continuously driving and fostering innovative relationships in the clean energy sector. We are pleased to be a part of such a unique agreement to develop this solar park. Since the founding of SkyPower we have always sought unique opportunities for collaboration and partnership with First Nation communities", said SkyPower President and Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Adler. "This successful partnership demonstrates our commitment to strategic partnerships in renewable energy and we continue to explore similar opportunities to ensure a brighter future for future generations."
The project is 10 megawatts and covers approximately 100 acres on Fort William First Nation land in Thunder Bay and will host an estimated 45,000 solar panels.
Preliminary construction commenced on site early 2011 and SkyPower is currently ramping up construction activities on the solar park. SkyPower anticipates completing construction on the solar project by the summer of 2011, which when fully operational will generate enough clean energy over 20 years to power approximately 17,000 average homes for 1 year. The Carbon Dioxide Offset is estimated at 130,000 tonnes over the initial 20 years of the project.
Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy stated, "Our energy plan is creating jobs for Ontario families and is turning Ontario into a global clean energy powerhouse. It is important partnerships like this one with First Nations communities that will help ensure a clean, strong and reliable energy system for the future of our children and grandchildren."
"We are creating high quality, good paying jobs and providing local investment that will strengthen the local economy", said Adler.
"This is a testament to how collaborative economic innovation is being achieved through working together in mutual respect", said Chief Peter Collins, Fort William First Nation. "We look forward to many more renewable energy opportunities such as this one."
It is expected that the project will contribute significantly to local investment and will potentially create 100 local jobs and create tremendous direct and indirect economic benefits to the local region.
When completed this summer 2011, the solar park is expected to be Canada's first and only large-scale solar park to be developed on First Nation's land.
About SkyPower Limited
SkyPower Limited is one of Canada's largest owners and developers of solar energy projects. The company owns with its partner Canada's first utility-scale fully operating solar park. SkyPower also has an extensive pipeline of solar projects operating, under construction and at various stages of development representing over 1500 MW of potential nameplate capacity across North America. SkyPower prospects, develops, manages, finances, owns and operates solar energy projects from initial discovery stages through to commercial operation. SkyPower helps many jurisdictions meet their increasing demand for cleaner, non-emitting renewable energy solutions. For more information about SkyPower, please visit www.skypower.com.
About Fort William First Nation
Long before the first European explorers set foot on what is now Canada, the ancestors of the present-day members of Fort William First Nation lived along the north shore of Lake Superior near the mouth of the Kaministikuia River. Settlers from eastern Canada and Europe found the area attractive too, as demonstrated by the growth of the adjacent City of Thunder Bay (originally the towns of Fort William and Port Arthur) The Fort William Reserve was created in 1853, as a condition of the 1850 Robinson-Superior Treaty. The Chief and Headmen who signed the Treaty intended that the Reserve would provide not just for their children, but for their grandchildren's grandchildren. However, most of the best Reserve land was taken within about three generations. www.fwfn.com.
SOURCE SkyPower Corp.