Summerside could see solar-panel business open

Nancy MacPhee
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Integrated Power Systems

SUMMERSIDE – Neway Argaw sees potential in Summerside, so much so that he’s considering setting up a solar-panel manufacturing plant within its boundaries.

Argaw, the CEO of Integrated Power Systems and a leading authority on solar energy, was in the city recently touring businesses, meeting with Mayor Bill Martin and the provincial government, including representatives from Energy P.E.I.

“One of the advantages of manufacturing here in Canada is because of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement ) and the tariff the U.S. government has for countries like China and Taiwan,” said Argaw.

With a contract secured in Africa requiring “millions of solar panels,” the businessman is looking to Summerside as an inexpensive place for manufacturing. Other advantages are the low Canadian dollar and a ready workforce.

He is also looking at distributing Omniflow wind turbines from Summerside.

“The city is more than 100 per cent supportive and they are behind our ideas and they want to do everything possible to help us,” said Argaw.

His visit was on the city’s dime, costing “a couple of housand dollars,” which is money already in the economic development department’s budget, the mayor said. He also said the city's investiment in the venture would be "nothing."

Argaw toured Vector Aerospace, met the owner of Renewable Lifestyles and met with representatives of Energy P.E.I., Finance P.E.I. and Innovation P.E.I. in Charlottetown.

He was impressed by what he saw and the reception he received.

“You get all the benefits when you go to a small province, the hospitality there and also the support,” said Argaw. “It is not easy to knock on doors of big city mayors. Sometimes you only get a chance to see them for five, 10 minutes.”

He didn’t want to divulge much about his meeting with the province, only to say he made a presentation about his business model.

Martin said if Argaw’s plans do come to fruition, the CUMI building where the businesses will be based “won’t be big enough.”

Argaw also looked at other options and spaces in the city. He offered to replace the city’s existing streetlights with LED lights, which the city “may or may not accept.”

Martin is optimistic about Argaw’s interest in the city and his future here.

“It’s good news for Summerside.”

Organizations: Integrated Power Systems, NAFTA, Vector Aerospace

Geographic location: Summerside, Canada, U.S. China Taiwan Africa Charlottetown

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • laurent Beaulieu
    March 01, 2016 - 16:42

    Solar energy is a proven energy saver and green. This is great news and moves PEI ahead of the game. We are all winners!

  • Been tried before
    March 01, 2016 - 13:31

    Before the government opens their purse to this idea, they should take a moment and Google Solyndra.

    • Truth Seeker
      Truth Seeker
      March 02, 2016 - 08:52

      I just read the company's complete history and demise. They were priced out of the market because the materials competitors used dropped by 89%. Integrated Power Systems uses this affordable material in their products. Get this going ASAP. We need to be thinking 25 years from now.

  • And Just What
    February 23, 2016 - 08:22

    And jus what is this going to cost the rest of us PE Islanders . Government involvement in private business in our past hasn't proven to be that smart of a move . Companies just don't come here on their own , in the past its been the PEI people giving them money & when that end's they fold & go elsewhere . Sounds good but I'm many times burnt so don't have much faith in government investments .

    • Headshaker
      February 25, 2016 - 14:04

      If private business wanted to be involved in private business, perhaps we'd see more private businesses not asking for handouts. If no one supports private businesses, they don't create jobs or pay taxes. As long as the company and the employees pay more than they are given it is a plus for the government to invest.

  • robb
    February 22, 2016 - 16:03

    lol he flipped the script, there will be no solar power plant here. but summerside will have new fancy street lights !!! lol its that easy folks

  • Summerside Resident
    February 21, 2016 - 20:18

    This is great news. Enough talk , get this going A.S.A.P. If things are as good as they are talking ,we should see movement here real soon

  • kyle
    February 21, 2016 - 17:49

    with the money they save with led streetlights the council can give themselves another raise.