Guelph shows the world what’s good for the environment is good for the economy
GUELPH, Ontario August 11, 2010 Canada News Wire - Canadian Solar Inc., the world's eighth largest solar module company, announced today it will establish a $24 million solar module manufacturing facility in Guelph. The facility will be one of the largest on the continent.
City and Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure officials, along with Canadian Solar executives, are attributing the location choice in large part to Guelph's Community Energy Initiative—Guelph's ambitious and internationally recognized plan to use less energy in 25 years than it does today, consume less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities, and produce less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average.
Businesses have traditionally been drawn to Guelph for its highly educated work force, established economic base and high quality of life. The Community Energy Initiative is another powerful draw for companies in the environmental technologies sector. Indeed, it’s part of what’s drawn Canadian Solar Inc.
“We chose Ontario and Guelph because of the province’s and city’s strong research and development, and the local and provincial governments’ commitment to investing in a low carbon economy,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman, President and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc. “The site selection for the new facility spread across Ontario, but in the end Guelph was chosen over several major cities as a result of its commitment to making sustainability the hallmark of the community through the Community Energy Initiative.”
With cities around the world watching Guelph’s innovative model, today’s announcement is an example of the Community Energy Initiative in action; government, business, investors, and citizens working together to build sustainable communities as a way to address the most serious ecological challenge of our time: climate change.
"Guelph has been named one of the safest, smartest and most caring communities in Canada with a quality of life amongst the best in the country,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge at this morning's announcement. “Quality of life is important in the new economy. By making sustainability a hallmark of our community, we’re attracting jobs and investment that will allow us to thrive while managing our energy use in our own community.”
Since the adoption of the Plan on which Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative was based, the Province of Ontario has implemented the Green Energy Act, helping to spawn a very active solar energy market.
“Guelph is another example of Ontario’s success in attracting clean energy investment and jobs,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “Canadian Solar’s decision to locate its first North American manufacturing plant in Guelph is a great vote of confidence in the city, the province, and the Green Energy Act.”
Canadian Solar Inc.’s Guelph facility will bring up to 500 jobs to Guelph, and the first phase of operations is expected to begin later this year. At full capacity the facility’s total output will generate solar-based power that exceeds the entire current electrical demand of the Guelph community. The Guelph facility will be Canadian Solar Inc.’s first outside of China.
About the City of Guelph
Located in one of the strongest economic regions in Canada, Guelph is the ideal destination for companies to access major markets and customers. Guelph is a vibrant, growing, historic community of over 118,000 residents offering an educated work force, established economic base and an outstanding quality of life.
Guelph offers competitive land and building development and business operating costs partnered with a variety of employment lands and buildings available to meet most business needs as well as fully interconnected and scalable telecommunication network and services.
About Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)
Canadian Solar Inc. is a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications. Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar systems for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide. Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest solar module producers by manufacturing capacity. With operations in North America, Europe and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global sustainable development. For more information on Canadian Solar Inc., visit www.canadiansolar.com. Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. For more information on Canadian Solar Solutions, visit www,canadian-solar.ca.
About the Community Energy Initiative
The Community Energy Initiative (formerly Community Energy Plan)is Guelph's commitment to use and manage energy differently, and better, than it has in the past. The initiative is also intended to attract quality investment to the city. After all, experts agree that a reliable, sustainable energy supply is and will continue to be a key ingredient in the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of cities.
Guelph leaders formed a Consortium to proactively develop a community energy plan in 2004. In 2006 the Consortium formalized a long-term Community Energy Plan (CEP) which would guide the city’s energy future for years to come. The CEP team had a mix of local and global expertise ensuring the plan incorporated the best elements of urban energy management from around the world. Today, Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative is regarded as a model for cities seeking an integrated, community-based approach to energy use and greenhouse gas reduction.