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A Canadian Solar operation in Ontario.

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TransCanada Corp. is acquiring another solar power facility as part of the ongoing expansion of its presence in the renewable energy sector.

Calgary-based TransCanada said on Thursday it has acquired Mississippi Mills in eastern Ontario from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. The facility is a newly built 10-megawatt installation west of Ottawa.

The deal is part of a previously announced agreement with Canadian Solar to buy a total of nine Ontario solar facilities as TransCanada expands its carbon-free portfolio while also pushing ahead with higher-profile projects such as the Keystone XL and Energy East oil pipelines.

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The controversial $5.3-billion (U.S.) Keystone XL initiative to move Alberta crude to Texas refineries is still waiting for the green light from Washington.

TransCanada has already acquired from Canadian Solar the facilities known as Brockville 1, Brockville 2 and Burritts Rapids.

Total cost of the nine photovoltaic facilities – with a combined capacity of 86 megawatts, enough to power some 17,000 homes – is about $500-million.

The energy is being sold to the Ontario Power Authority for a feed-in tariff rate of $443 per megawatt hour as part of 20-year power purchase agreements.

TransCanada says it expects the remaining five solar projects to enter service by the end of this year.

Among TransCanada's other carbon-free projects are Canada's largest wind farm development, located in Quebec; the largest wind farm in New England; and 13 hydro facilities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.

"We are pleased to have acquired an additional solar facility in Ontario as part of our growing energy portfolio, one-third of which are facilities that produce electricity from emission-less sources," said TransCanada president and chief executive officer Russ Girling.

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"The addition of these solar facilities to our asset base continues to allow us to complement our existing operations in Ontario where we have become the largest independent power producer in the province."

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