New Solar Jobs Stay Local In Ontario

A domestic content requirement is credited with providing incentive for an Ontario, Canada, solar enterprise to ramp up production in the province, creating 400 new jobs. MEMC Electronic Materials said the added workers were needed to boost production of photovoltaic modules with manufacturing partner Flextronics at a plant in Newmarket, on the outskirts of Toronto.

“The job creation is a direct result of the 60 percent domestic content requirement of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program,” MEMC said in its announcement. The panels produced will be used by MEMC’s solar subsidiary, SunEdison, and its channel partners for solar PV projects.

Solar Panel

image via Shutterstock

Ontario’s FIT is intended to usher in greater use of renewable energy, with the domestic production requirement specifically aimed at boosting employment in the sector. And it seems to be working: Earlier this month, we reported that the Ontario government was projecting 50,000 new green jobs by the end of 2012 as a result of its Green Energy Act, which includes the FIT. In addition to the 400 new jobs at the Newmarket plant, MEMC said SunEdison has gone from two full-time employees in late 2009 at their Toronto office to more than 50 today.

At a ceremony dedicating the new production line, Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s minister of Economic Development and Trade, called solar power initiatives like MEMC’s crucial  in “building toward an energy economy that will contribute to cleaner air and sustainable jobs for today and tomorrow.”

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.