In the early days of renewable energy, the industry comprised of large companies playing a high stakes game. The environment was impossible for small companies to compete in. However, in 2006 the game changed with the introduction of Ontario’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program. RESOF effectively opened the door to smaller companies looking to develop wind or solar projects up to 10 MW.
“I was already enamored with turbines, it was amazing to me that we could be producing energy through wind. I thought- this is what we should be doing.” said Doug “The RESOF program marked a perfect time to enter the industry”
With Doug’s experience in all aspects of land development, the decision to enter the renewable energy industry was an easy one.
Saturn Power quickly expanded from a company with one wind farm in mind, to a multinational renewable energy developer and independent power producer. “Originally the goal was to develop one wind farm” said Doug “However we realized the viability of Solar very early on”.
“We looked at the US being an obvious place to go.”
With the continuous decrease in panel costs and the increase of prospective projects, Saturn Powers solar division took off. This growth eventually pushed Saturn to seek new horizons outside of Ontario.
“We looked at the US being an obvious place to go, right next door, big market, same culture, very similar to do business.” The US was an obvious destination for Saturn Power, but further jurisdiction diversification was desired. “We looked at a lot of different markets Mexico, India, Germany, UK, Argentina, but one stood out from the rest.”
Turkey, a country powered almost entirely by oil and gas was looking to install 10GW of renewable energy by 2023. At the time, Turkey had less renewable energy installed than Saturn Power’s portfolio in Ontario alone. Saturn Powers two Turkish projects totaling 20 MW of solar energy signified the beginning of international expansion for the company.
Looking at how far Saturn Power has come since their original goal ten years ago, Doug is proud of the growth and sustained success the company has achieved. “It’s hard to find another renewable energy developer in Ontario that started and is still privately owned.” said Doug “The fact that we have not only survived, but thrived, is a testament to our business.”
“Whether your interest is in finance, engineering, or project management there are a growing number of opportunities in this field.” said Doug, when asked about the renewable energy industry “It is a business that is here to stay”.