Manufacturing AUTOMATION

ATS expands into solar energy market

December 7, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. has established Photowatt Ontario Inc. as part of its plan to lead the Ontario solar energy market.

ATS and Photowatt have rapidly advanced their presence in this market by participating in a number of development projects and will begin manufacturing modules during the first half of 2010 in Cambridge, Ont., as well as through a contract manufacturing arrangement with an Ontario-based partner.

Photowatt Ontario offers turn-key solar project development, installation and solar products. Located in the solar energy centre at ATS’s Fountain Street campus, the operation is a manufacturer of solar modules and provides complete solutions to installers and developers including modules, balance of system, technical support, project management, financing and site maintenance. As such, Photowatt Ontario has the ability to meet and exceed content requirements under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

"Demand for solar energy is rapidly developing in Ontario and our established team has been actively applying their many years of technical, manufacturing and managerial expertise in integrated project development and installation to serve that demand," said Anthony Caputo, ATS CEO. "Photowatt Ontario has a number of project development opportunities in the pipeline, many of which have now been submitted as Feed-In Tariff applications to the Ontario Power Authority."


Over the past seven years, ATS and Photowatt have been involved in the development of more than 10 solar projects in Ontario including sites at the CN Tower (visible above the restaurant on the south face), the head office of Ontario Power Generation, the University of Toronto, EMS headquarters in the Region of Waterloo, and at ATS. Photowatt Ontario benefits directly from more than 30 years of solar cell and module design and manufacturing experience resident in the Photowatt group.

ATS is uniquely positioned, with over one million square feet of Ontario-based manufacturing, more than 900 local employees, substantial automation and project expertise and extensive global solar capabilities and experience to be a natural domestic solar market leader.

ATS is currently speaking with a number of upstream producers regarding potential co-location in its green wing, which it envisions will become a centre of solar energy innovation. It has invited others wishing to participate in the Ontario market and/or produce products in Ontario to consider cooperation and co-location.

The Green Energy Act regulations announced in Ontario on September 24, 2009, introduced Feed-In Tariffs and domestic content rules for alternative energy producers. ATS believes the improved regulatory environment, combined with increasing focus on alternative energy will support market growth.

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