ATS Photowatt Ontario plant officially opens
Opens with Ontario's Minister of Energy and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities on-hand to mark solar manufacturing milestone.
CAMBRIDGE, Leading global automation company sees opportunity in government policy to bring solar manufacturing and green jobs to Ontario.
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (“ATS”) today officially opened its Photowatt Ontario Green Wing production facility. The Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Hon. John Milloy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, were on-hand to help mark the major milestone for solar manufacturing in Ontario.
Photowatt Ontario offers turnkey solar project development, installation and solar products. Photowatt Ontario has begun production of Photovoltaic (PV) modules on a new 100MW line at the ATS campus in Cambridge Ontario. The “Made in Ontario” production will meet rapidly growing Ontario demand from residential, commercial and industrial markets as well as large-scale solar fields. The world-class line was designed and built by the ATS Cambridge Automation division.
ATS has made a significant investment to serve the Ontario solar market with module manufacturing and turnkey solar installations and has initially created 150 jobs at ATS. ATS expects to hire more as demand grows. ATS believes that overall job creation related to solar in the province will be similar to Europe, where solar industry experience and International Energy Agency analysis estimate approximately 40 jobs have been created for every megawatt of solar installed. ATS has the manufacturing automation knowhow, facilities and resources to rapidly expand beyond the initial 100MW capacity as demand from the Ontario marketplace and beyond grows.
“I’m extremely pleased to welcome the ATS Green Wing production facility to Ontario’s growing clean energy economy,” said Brad Duguid, provincial Energy Minister. “Photowatt Ontario is a great example of how the McGuinty government’s vision for a vibrant renewable energy sector is coming to life. Our new Long-Term Energy Plan will ensure we continue on this path, and that companies like ATS remain an important part of our plan to clean up our air and create thousands of clean energy jobs for Ontarians.”
“This is an important new facility for Ontario and Waterloo Region,” said John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “This investment by ATS in clean energy is helping to bring the kind of highly-skilled jobs to our province that will help fuel the knowledge economy of the future. It will contribute to a strong and competitive Ontario, and will help keep our environment clean for future generations.”
“We commend Ontario for taking meaningful steps in addressing our aging electrical transmission system, green house gas emissions, outdated power generation and manufacturing jobs lost in the economic downturn of 2008,” said Anthony Caputo, president and CEO, ATS Automation. “The Green Energy Act is very progressive and the feed-in tariff program accomplishes many of these multifaceted objectives.”
Government support through its Green Energy Act is credited with advancing the acceptance of solar power at a crucial point in its evolution.
“The module line is one important element of ATS’ Green Wing. We have started with panel manufacturing but are in numerous discussions with potential partners in many facets of the green energy industry. Industry seeks stability, predictability and steadfast application of rules and regulations. This type of environment will continue to attract investment, respect the competitive process, foster innovation and create new jobs,” Caputo concluded.
Photowatt is a turnkey solar project developer and integrated manufacturer. Photowatt designs, manufactures and sells solar modules, and installation kits, and provides solar power systems design and other value-added services, principally in Western Europe and Ontario. Photowatt has a well-established and ongoing research and development program, alliances with energy industry leaders through the PV Alliance joint venture and 30 years of experience in processing silicon and making ingots, wafers, cells and modules.
Photowatt Ontario has been established as part of the Photowatt group to serve the Ontario solar market. Combined with ATS, it 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. Visit the Photowatt website at www.photowatt.com and the Photowatt Ontario website at www.photowattontario.com
ATS Automation provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world’s most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems’ needs of multinational customers in industries such as life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, automotive and consumer products. It also leverages its many years of experience and skills to fulfill the specialized automation product manufacturing requirements of customers. Through Photowatt, ATS participates in the growing solar energy industry. ATS employs approximately 2,700 people at 17 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company’s website at www.atsautomation.com.
Note to Readers: Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS’s business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things: meeting market demand; hiring and overall job creation expectations; expansion capabilities; discussions with potential partners; and potential impact of regulatory environment. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others: general market performance including capital market conditions and availability and cost of credit; economic market conditions; ability of ATS to acquire the needed expertise, financial partners, and to conclude the relationships necessary to effectively execute on its Ontario solar strategy; the financial attractiveness of, and demand for, solar projects and solar products; the availability and possible reduction, modification, or elimination of government subsidies; ability to obtain necessary government certifications and approvals for solar projects in a timely fashion; political, labour or supplier disruptions; the development of superior or alternative technologies to those developed by ATS; the success of competitors with greater capital and resources in exploiting their technology; market risk for developing technologies; and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS’s filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.