The solar industry caught the attention of a local non-for-profit group in Kingston, Ontario focused on helping the province transition to a more sustainable and cleaner future. SWITCH travels throughout the city searching for homes that are suitable for solar panel installations. Its goal is to help Kingston turn solar by encouraging 1,000 homeowners to erect photovoltaic systems on their unused land and rooftops. Thus far, SWITCH has successfully helped with over seventy-six solar panel installations. Company representative, Tyson Champagne, states, “More solar power in the city will ensure a greater percentage of power used will be coming from clean energy sources.”
Solar PV Training Is an Integral Part of the Solar Industry
Suntech announced intentions to build a solar silicon manufacturing plant in Vaughan Ontario. Together working with Calisolar, “the partnership will accelerate the development of the solar industry in Ontario and meet the growing solar demand across Canada.” Green jobs are important to Ontario, but installers trained in solar photovoltaic installations are just as vital to the energy sector. According to the Ontario Power Authority, there were approximately 19,000 microFIT applications through July 2, 2010, 5% of which had been installed and commissioned by the end of August 2010. This statistic is alarming because without qualified solar installers that have the necessary solar PV training, this backlog could derail the green energy movement.
Ontario Solar Network Promotes Solar Jobs, Solar PV Training, and Solar Energy
Ontario Solar Network (OSN) kicked off its membership campaign with a special event held in Vaughn, Ontario. Ontario Solar Network began as the alumni group of Ontario Solar Academy’s solar PV training course, and as demand for solar expansion and professional networking grew, OSN membership soon followed. Jacob Travis, Founder and President of OSN stated the goal of the Network is “to help members grow their solar businesses and careers,” promising that the Network will help “businesses access what they need to know, and who they need to know.