Samsung is tearing it up within the smartphone and consumer electronics sector, but the giant from Korea has its hands–as in the many corporate entities carrying the Samsung name–in many pies. One of the sectors in which Samsung is ramping up investment is renewable energy. Last year, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) plunked $150 million in a Scottish offshore wind power project; the company also has designs within the North American wind energy market. Solar is a key facet of Samsung’s strategy in overseas markets as well.
To that end, Samsung Renewable Energy of Canada recently inked a partnership agreement with Canadian Solar Inc. to open a photovoltaic module and medium power voltage manufacturing plant in London, Ontario. The London facility is part of Samsung’s $5 billion investment in various wind and solar power projects as the company joins other firms who will benefit from Ontario’s government’s pledge to phase out coal by the end of 2014.
In a press release, Samsung claims its partnership with Ontario’s Green Energy Investment Agreement (GEIA) will eventually create 9,000 renewable energy projects throughout the province. Dating back to 2010, the agreement promises to deliver almost 1,400 megawatts of energy, 300 MW of which will be from solar, to local utilities’ customers. The need for Samsung to deliver on these goals is urgent: with the coal phase-out looming, Ontario’s grid operator projects an additional 3,200 MW of clean energy will be connected to the province’s grid—enough to power 980,000 homes.
Samsung’s push into the renewables market in Ontario is not just about the 2014 coal phase-out. The four manufacturing facilities throughout the project are part of what the company claims will become a base from which Samsung can eventually export products to markets outside of Canada.
Critics of renewable energy policies in Canada and the United States often point out the fact that much of the solar and wind power equipment on the global market is manufactured in China. If the renewables sector surges in Canada to the point exports could come from north of the border, would that satisfy the naysayers—who are often the same ones who tout the benefits of the Keystone pipeline? Stay tuned.
Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye is the editor of GreenGoPost.com and frequently writes about business sustainability strategy. Leon also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business; his work has also appeared on Sustainable Brands, Inhabitat and Earth911. You can follow Leon and ask him questions on Twitter or Instagram (greengopost).
[Image credit: Wikipedia]