Samsung and Pattern Energy have formally opened the 270MW South Kent project in Ontario, Canada’s largest operational wind farm.
The project is the first brought to completion under Samsung C&T’s landmark deal with the government of Ontario – the so-called Green Energy Investment Agreement.
Under the deal, Samsung was initially to have built 2.5GW of wind and solar capacity in Ontario while ensuring that at least four renewables-related factories were established, in exchange for generous subsidies for electricity generation.
While the deal has since been revised – with Samsung now on the hook for building just 1.4GW of capacity – it is still driving huge growth across Ontario’s renewables sector.
For the 124 Siemens 2.3MW turbines used at the South Kent project, the blades were made at Siemens’ blade factory in Tillsonburg, while the towers were fabricated by CS Wind in Windsor using Ontario-made steel.
South Kent was delivered “on time and within budget, despite a very harsh winter”, says Pattern chief executive Mike Garland.
Some 500 jobs were created during construction at South Kent, and 22 full-time O&M workers will be kept on. RES Canada oversaw construction.
Fifteen banks provided financing for South Kent, which required 70km of new roads and the installation of 283km of electrical cables.
Samsung has brought on a number of development partners in Ontario, including San Francisco-based Pattern, which is one of the most prominent renewable-energy YieldCos to have launched an initial public offering in the US last year.
In addition to South Kent, Samsung and Pattern are currently constructing the 270MW K2 and 150MW Grand Renewable Energy Park projects, while “significant progress” is being made at the development-stage 180MW Armow. Overall, the two companies will together bring 870MW of wind power online in Ontario.
Samsung has also committed to Ontario’s PV sector, with partners SMA Solar and Canadian Solar having built factories in the province as part of the Korean giant’s pact with the province.