ATS Establishes Photowatt Ontario to Serve Rapidly-Developing Solar Opportunities
CAMBRIDGE, ON, Dec. 7, 2009 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. ("ATS" or "the Company") today announced that it has established Photowatt Ontario Inc. as part of its plan to lead the Ontario solar energy market.
ATS and Photowatt have rapidly advanced their presence in this market by participating in a number of development projects and will begin manufacturing modules during the first half of 2010 in Cambridge as well as through a contract manufacturing arrangement with an Ontario-based partner.
Photowatt Ontario offers turn-key solar project development, installation and solar products. Located in the solar energy centre ("green wing") at ATS's Fountain Street campus, the operation is a manufacturer of solar modules and provides complete solutions to installers and developers including modules, balance of system, technical support, project management, financing and site maintenance. As such, Photowatt Ontario has the ability to meet and exceed content requirements under Ontario's Green Energy Act.
"Demand for solar energy is rapidly developing in Ontario and our established team has been actively applying their many years of technical, manufacturing and managerial expertise in integrated project development and installation to serve that demand," said Anthony Caputo, ATS Chief Executive Officer. "Photowatt Ontario has a number of project development opportunities in the pipeline, many of which have now been submitted as Feed-In Tariff applications to the Ontario Power Authority." Over the past seven years, ATS and Photowatt have been involved in the development of more than 10 solar projects in Ontario including sites at the CN Tower (visible above the restaurant on the south face), the head office of Ontario Power Generation, the University of Toronto, EMS headquarters in the Region of Waterloo, and at ATS. Photowatt Ontario benefits directly from more than 30 years of solar cell and module design and manufacturing experience resident in the Photowatt group.
ATS 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.
ATS is currently speaking with a number of upstream producers regarding potential co-location in its green wing, which it envisions will become a centre of solar energy innovation. It has invited others wishing to participate in the Ontario market and/or produce products in Ontario to consider cooperation and co-location.
The Green Energy Act regulations announced in Ontario on September 24, 2009, introduced Feed-In Tariffs and domestic content rules for alternative energy producers. ATS believes the improved regulatory environment, combined with increasing focus on alternative energy will support market growth.
Photowatt Ontario is participating at the CanSIA Solar Conference 2009 at the Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Booth 123, on December 7 and 8, 2009.
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. 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 healthcare, 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 2,400 people at 14 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. On October 21, 2009, ATS and Photowatt announced plans to advance the Ontario solar market. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.
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. Visit the Photowatt website at www.photowatt.com and the Photowatt Ontario website at www.photowattontario.com.
Note to Readers:
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: ATS's plan to lead the Ontario solar market; the manufacturing of modules in Cambridge during the first half of 2010 as well as through a contract manufacturing arrangement with an Ontario-based partner; the ability to meet content requirements; ATS's positioning in respect of the domestic solar market; its vision for its green wing; invitation to others wishing to participate to consider co-operation and co-location; and ATS's belief with respect to the potential for growth in the Ontario solar energy market. 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; delays in establishing production capacity; ability of ATS to acquire the needed expertise and financial partners necessary to effectively develop solar projects; the financial attractiveness of, and demand for, those solar projects; ATS's ability to conclude relationships with third parties in order to implement its plans; extent of market demand for solar products; the availability and possible reduction or elimination of government subsidies and/or changes to domestic content requirements; ability to obtain necessary government certifications and approvals for solar projects in a timely fashion; political, labour or supplier disruptions; potential inability of ATS to achieve improvements in cell efficiency, including problems with the technology or commercialization thereof; 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.
For further information:
Maria Perrella, Chief Financial Officer
Carl Galloway, Vice-President, Treasurer