Minister Smitherman was joined by Mr. Tristan Grimbert, the President and CEO of EDF EN Canada, which has invested more than $100 million in the Project as part of the Province's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP).
The Minister and Mr. Grimbert each installed a solar panel during the dedication ceremony, adding to the 312,000 panels that will be erected at the site. About 150 people in the community have been employed at the Arnprior Solar Project since design, engineering and construction commenced in early 2009. Power generated from the Project will meet the peak demands of about 7,000 Ontario homes when it is placed in-service later in 2009.
In his remarks to 150 guests and Arnprior construction employees, Minister Smitherman stated, "The opening of this solar farm in Arnprior will be a significant part of the growing momentum for green energy as we work together to eliminate coal fired electricity generation in Ontario."
Mr. Grimbert, who is also President and CEO of all EDF EN affiliates in North America, said "Today marks a significant milestone for EDF EN Canada as we stand together with the people of Ontario and realize our vision of truly sustainable energy. At a time when job creation and environmental responsibility have become critical public policy goals, EDF EN Canada has utilized the unique endowment of eastern Ontario's people and sunshine to make a long-term commitment to green energy."
The project is the largest solar PV site in Canada, and will more than double grid-connected solar PV capacity in the country. The electricity produced will provide local electricity service via connections to the Hydro One distribution grid.