From California to New Jersey, states have proven that progressive renewable energy policies can spur economic development, and the same appears to be true for the province of Ontario, Canada, which is set to gain 2,300 green collar jobs as a result of solar power projects planned by Ontario Power Authority.
These jobs come as a results of a joint venture between Celestica of Toronto, a global electronics manufacturer, and Recurrent Energy of San Francisco, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sharp Corporation. The partnership was created to support Ontario’s rapidly-growing green economy by manufacturing domestically-produced materials for its career solar workers and students of renewable energy classes.
More immediately, the crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured by Celestica in its Toronto factory will be used in the construction of 19 solar power plants that Recurrent Energy was awarded contracts for under the Ontario Power Authority’s lucrative feed-in tariff (FIT) program.
Under the terms of this program, established in 2009, the provincial government pays producers of electricity from solar, wind, and biomass installations above-market rates to tie their projects into the provincial grid, but requires participating solar projects to include 60% made-in-Ontario materials and regional labor. This has created a winning combination for Ontario, which has seen a solar boom as a result.
As of 2010, the province was ranked second in North America for installed photovoltaic capacity, and recent analysis has shown that the region may be on course to surpass California and take first place in the coming year.