There I was, driving down a country road toward Narrows Lock (the Rideau Canal lock that separates Upper and Lower Rideau Lake) when I saw a pair of farms on the east side of Narrows Lock Road (County Road 14).
One is a farm with sheep and stuff – the other is a solar farm, specifically the SunE Newboro 4 Solar Farm.
Rideau Lakes is a 10 MW ground-mounted photovoltaic solar project in the Township of Rideau Lakes, Ontario. The project is a renewable energy generation facility which will use solar photovoltaic
technology. Electricity generated by solar photovoltaic panels is converted from DC to AC by
an inverter, and subsequently stepped up (via transformer) to 44 kV prior to being connected to the
distribution line. In order to meet OPA’s FIT Program requirements, a specific percentage of
equipment will be manufactured in Ontario.
The project is a Class 3 solar facility. That is, the project is ground mounted and greater than 10 kW.
At this time the solar module information, including make, model, size, dimensions, number of
modules, etc was not available. It is estimated that between 45,000 to 55,000 MEMC solar modules (260 to 300-watt generation capacity) will be installed and approximately 20 inverters will be required.
The project has received a 20-year Feed-in-Tariff contract from the Ontario Power Authority to sell the generated electricity to the Ontario electricity grid. As such, the project is anticipated to operate until at least 2033, at which time it may continue to generate electricity or the site may be decommissioned and the land returned to its former vacant use.
This is a huge project – the image above links to a larger version, but even that does not show the scope of the project. If you really want a good look then check out the user controlled VR version – it’s impressive…