Samsung to Install 2.5 Gigawatts of Wind and Solar in Ontario

An unusual agreement aims to create green jobs and help eliminate coal

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One of the more startling experiences you can have, if you happen to be in the U.S. Northeast, is to cross the border into Canada around Niagara Falls. On the U.S. side, everywhere there is industrial and urban decay, as if the whole area had somehow been bombed back into the pre-industrial age. Immediately across the frontier on the Canadian side everything is humming along nicely, as if one had just entered the 22nd century.

Three years ago IEEE Spectrum magazine reported on Ontario's forward-looking program to end reliance on coal generation, by boosting renewable energy and propping up nuclear. Last year the province's Liberal Party government adopted a Green Energy Act, aiming to create 50,000 new jobs in the green energy sector and kick-start economic growth. Now the province has reached a deal with Samsung wherenby the South Korean conglomerate will install 2.5 GW of wind and solar generation, and build manufacturing facilities to support the effort in Ontario.

The deal is all the more striking because Samsung is a relative newcomer to wind turbine construction. But this is not the first time in recent months Korea has suprised the world with a sudden move into global clean-energy markets. Late last year a Korean consortium entered bidding for construction of an initial nuclear power plant in the Emirates--and ended up winning the competition.

 

 

 

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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