District solar partnership expanding

Press Release

Rainy River First Nations Solar Partnership has entered a purchase and sale agreement yesterday to acquire three utility-scale solar projects totalling 25 mW from Ontario Solar PV Fields, a joint venture between ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. and Global PVQ Canada Corp.
“Rainy River First Nations is excited to be entering into this agreement with OSPVF,” Rainy River First Nations Chief Jim Leonard said.
“From the beginning, Rainy River First Nations’ vision for getting into the renewable energy generation business has been, first and foremost, to create an energy assistance fund through the allocation of a portion of the profits generated by the projects,” he noted.
“These funds would be used to provide a resource to assist our band members, living both on and off of our reserve lands, with their utility costs,” Chief Leonard added.
“The signing of the agreement is the first step in achieving this goal, and we look forward to building the projects and seeing them become operational.”
The three solar projects are located in Rainy River District and have 20-year Feed-in-Tariff Program power purchase agreements with the Ontario Power Authority.
Construction activities on the three projects are expected to begin this year, and are expected to achieve commercial operation in 2014.
Cedarvale Energy will assist Rainy River First Nations in the development of the solar projects.
“We are very fortunate to be a partner with Rainy River First Nations in these renewable energy projects” said Scott Frazer, managing director of Cedarvale Energy.
“We look forward to completing them with a standard of care commensurate with our joint intentions of owning and operating the projects for the long-term,” he added.
The projects are expected to create more than 300 new jobs during the development and construction phases.
The electricity generated—on an emission-free basis—by the projects is expected to be sufficient to power roughly 3,900 homes.
We are very excited about the economic prospects for the local economy given that the cost to complete the projects will be in the $100-million range,” said Dean Wilson, manager of administration for Rainy River First Nations.
“We are committed to see that as much of these dollars in development, construction, and labor are spent locally to support our community and local municipalities,” he stressed.
The transaction is subject to a number of approvals and conditions, including RRFNs Solar Partnership securing financing for the projects.
The parties expect the transaction to close in the latter part of 2013.
OSPVF will retain 25 percent ownership of the projects until they reach commercial operation, which is expected to happen in the second half of 2014.