Solar farm coming in 2012
A sea of solar panels should begin rising early next year on a 10-megawatt solar farm on unused land at the northwest corner of Centennial and North Augusta Roads.
Most of the 300-acre privately-owned property, destined to hold two solar farms covering 80 acres on either side of a natural gas right-of-way, has been cleared of scrub brush and trees.
On Tuesday, a pair of specially equipped bulldozers were busy working the ground for the start of a construction process expected to begin early in 2012 and wrap up before the end of the year.
"The general contractor (PCL Constructors) is on site," Mike Jordan, spokesman for minority partner Upper Canada Solar of Brockville, told The Recorder and Times Tuesday.
"They are not flying the flag yet because they are still preparing the land.
"But they will be putting up the fences soon and the project is a go after a long process of five or six years."
Jordan said the major partner in the project is the Kitchener-based Canadian Solar Solutions and after the farm is in place, it will be turned over to Trans Canada Pipeline under a purchase agreement.
Before it gets to that point, the site is currently under the control of PCL, which will build the ground-mount systems and install the solar panels, said Jordan.
The majority of the panels will be located in the south solar farm spread over 50 acres of priv at e l y owned land within Brockville boundaries.
City council and staff raised objections last summer about the loss of future industrial land but the project was approved regardless by the Ministry of Energy of Ontario under the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program.
Notably, this is just the second commercial ground-mounted project to be given approval to proceed under the program, said Jordan.
Indeed, a bi-weekly report on the ministry website about the FIT and microFIT programs shows many private and municipal applications for solar panels have been approved but only one previous commercial proposal.