ATS announces plans to serve the domestic solar energy market

TSX: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Oct. 21, 2009 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. ("ATS" or "the Company") and Photowatt, its wholly-owned subsidiary, today announced they will lever their global solar expertise and Ontario presence to advance the Ontario solar market.

    
    As part of its comprehensive approach, ATS plans to:
    -   Develop solar projects;
    -   Offer complete solutions to installers and developers including
        modules, balance of system, technical support, project management,
        financing and site maintenance, with the ability to meet and exceed
        content requirements under the Green Energy Act;
    -   Build Photowatt modules directly at its existing Cambridge
        facilities, as well as through a contract manufacturing arrangement
        with an Ontario-based partner;
    -   Designate a "green wing" on its existing Cambridge campus and invite
        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 growth in the Ontario solar energy market. ATS is uniquely positioned, with Ontario-based manufacturing and extensive solar capabilities and experience to participate in the market.

"With our very broad capabilities in solar and as a leading equipment, engineering and manufacturing company with over 900 employees and approximately 1 million square feet of facilities in Ontario, we have the capability to meet demand and lead the domestic market," said Anthony Caputo, ATS Chief Executive Officer. "I would invite other companies interested in this innovative market to consider collaborating with us at our new green wing."

Said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure: "This investment announced by ATS represents further progress in Ontario's pursuit of green energy and green jobs."

ATS and Photowatt intend to make additional announcements with respect to their Ontario plans in the coming weeks.

About ATS

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. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.

About Photowatt

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. 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.

About PV Alliance

The PV Alliance ("PVA") is a joint venture involving Photowatt, EDF ENR, a partially-owned subsidiary of Electricité de France, and CEA Investissement, a French national public provider of fundamental and technical research. The PVA undertakes (i) research to improve the efficiency of both polysilicon and UMG-Si solar cells; and (ii) refinement of next-generation solar energy processes at manufacturing volumes. The PVA is constructing a 25 MW cell development line for the application of technology within Photowatt's facility.

Note to Readers: Forward-Looking Statements

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 intention to advance the Ontario solar market; development of solar projects; the offering of complete solutions to installers and developers with the ability to meet content requirements; the manufacture of modules directly as well as through an Ontario-based partner; designation of a "green wing" on its existing Cambridge campus and the invitation to others wishing to participate; and ATS's belief with respect to growth in the Ontario solar energy market and ATS's positioning in that regard. 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; 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; 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.

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SOURCE ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc.

For further information: For further information: Maria Perrella, Chief Financial Officer; Carl Galloway, Vice-President, Treasurer, (519) 653-6500


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