Samsung, Canadian eye Ontario plant

Samsung will partner with Canadian Solar on a module factory in Ontario due for completion by the end of 2013, in a move which the Korean heavyweight claims will fulfill its renewables manufacturing commitment to the province.

Samsung first disclosed its intention to build a module plant in London, Ontario, in 2011, but a number of factors, including the PV downturn, stalled progress. In the meantime, its relationship with Canadian Solar has deepened significantly.

Some 330MW of Canadian Solar’s 2.4GW of existing module capacity is located in Ontario, where it is headquartered, with the remainder in China.

The new plant will lead to the creation of 200 new jobs in London, Ontario.

It is not clear how large the factory will be in capacity terms, and neither Samsung nor Canadian Solar immediately responded to requests for further detail.

The London factory will supply the 300MW of utility-scale PV capacity which Samsung intends to bring onto Ontario's grid over the next few years, with its 100MW Grand Renewable project in Haldimand County set to break ground in August.

Earlier this month Canadian Solar revealed it has been contracted to handle EPC work for that project.

In total Samsung intends to build 1.37GW of renewables capacity in Ontario, having last week downsized its ambitions from 2.5GW, apparently at the behest of the provincial government.

Samsung has partnered with Siemens for a blade factory in Tilsonburg, CS Wind for a tower plant in Windsor, and SMA Solar for an inverter production facility in Toronto.

The module factory with Canadian Solar represents the fourth and final plant it promised the province as part of the blockbuster renewables deal it brokered in 2010.