Scarborough manufacturer Samco Solar is investing in a greener, more renewable form of energy, creating more local jobs in the process.
The company is looking to expand its plant at Kennedy Road And Ellesmere Road as it becomes a bigger player in the solar energy market.
“So far we’ve hired about 30 people and as we ramp up and slowly build toward next spring, we’ll probably be up to about 60 people,” CEO and founder Joe Repovs said Nov. 12.
The company’s first solar racking rolled off the line in July. It is used to attach solar panels either to the roofs of homes and businesses or in the ground for larger solar farms. The racking also ensures that the panels are angled properly to attract maximum sunlight.
When the provincial government passed the Green Energy Act last May, a tariff program was also created to subsidize renewable energy projects in Ontario.
“There was a big incentive for local manufactures like Samco,” said David Pichard, vice-president of business development with Samco. “The feed-in tariff coupled with the domestic content rule made our quality and wide range of services relevant to the industry.”
While Repovs said that creating jobs is a very important part of the company’s mission, embracing renewable energy sources is an important step for them as well.
“We are ensuring clean air for our children and our grandchildren and that’s part of our bottom line,” he said.
The new product has started attracting international attention, Repovs said..
“We have a tremendous amount of marketing activity and sales activity taking place right now, not just with local players but also with U.S and European companies that have approached us to partner up,” he said.
Samco teamed with American company SunEdison in mid-July to produce its Delta Rack, SunEdison’s first solar racking equipment made in Ontario.
“In terms of why we chose Samco to create our solar racking, they are very cost competitive and have the skilled workforce needed to deliver our products on time,” said Jason Gray, vice-president for SunEdison in Canada.
“This is a great success story and a great partnership,” Energy Minister Brad Duguid said. “The plant will manufacture the parts needed to produce new solar energy and create jobs in the community.”