Actualité Poltiique, Économique et Historique

dimanche 1 août 2010

Solar Technology Manufacturers to Create Hundreds of Ontario Green Jobs

Ontario's Green Energy Act along with Ontario Power Authority's feed-in tariff program (FIT) have stimulated corporate expansion into the solar technology marketplace. These companies could help create significant numbers of green jobs in 2010 and 2011.

Windsor, Ontario will be the site of a new Solar Panel Manufacturer, Solar Source Ontario, part of the SolarBancorp Group of Companies.  It expects to create nearly 500 green jobs within the next three years as it produces solar panels for the building integrated, ground mounted, and commercial rooftop markets.  Production is slated to begin at the end of 2011, with the first 150 full time green jobs created over the next year.  The project is in conjunction with India-based technology manufacturer, HHV Solar.

Some of the green jobs available will be in assembling, engineering, and other solar technology related work.  Ross Beatty, president of Solar Source Corporation, said the company will primarily hire "local talent."

Other Solar Technology Companies Plan Green Jobs Expansion in Ontario

Also gearing up for production is Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies, a Tecumseh, Ontario firm that will start producing solar panels in June 2010.  CEO, Sean Moore, is confident that the solar technology marketplace can absorb competition.  He sees a "huge opportunity with implementation of [Ontario's] Green Energy Act."  In fact, the legislation and incentives offered under the Act are what originally prompted him to plunge into the energy market.

Moore's company expects to create up to 50 new green jobs during 2010.  It already has orders from developers and local customers.

Launched in 2005, SolGate Solar is another company eager to establish a more permanent foothold in the energy game.  With its 15,000 square foot facility just north of Toronto, it claims to be the first large-scale photovoltaic panel manufacturer in Canada.  Since the Green Energy Act and feed-in-tariff programs were launched, SolGate has almost doubled its workforce and expects to triple it by the time production reaches full capacity.

Demand for Solar Training & Green Job Prep

The market will determine the exact number of new jobs created, but demand is expected to be high.  Already, solar training programs are gearing up across the province in anticipation.  Associate Director of Ontario Solar Academy, David Gower, details how unmet demand in previous months prompted his school to expand the number of monthly solar training classes offered.  "Every month, our classes sold out, and the waiting list became difficult to manage.  We wanted to keep class sizes small, so we had to begin offering more courses."

In such a high-demand marketplace, filling these new green jobs with enough workers trained in solar, wind, and energy storage technology could prove challenging and may even impede the pace with which Ontario fulfills its 2030 Green Energy goals.  However, rising employment could very well provide the training and career incentives needed to keep the province's sustainability efforts on track.

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