On Thursday, the Government of Canada announced funding for construction of a new solar farm in southeastern Alberta that will use advanced solar technology.  

New solar technology will capture energy from both sides of solar panel

The Canadian government is investing $15.3 million over two years in the construction of a solar farm in southeastern Alberta that will use advanced solar technology to power over 7,000 homes annually.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced on Thursday the funding for the Suffield Solar project located on 202 acres of land near the hamlet of Suffield, about 250 Km southeast of Calgary.

“Increasing our expertise, creating jobs and forging ahead with new technologies in high-growth industries like solar will help ensure Canada’s success,” said Sohi.

The Suffield Solar Project will use a new solar technology that allows energy to be captured from both sides of the solar panel while it tracks the sun’s daily trajectory.  The system has been developed by Canadian Solar, an Ontario-based company that offers solar PV modules and solar energy solutions worldwide.

“This project will showcase our latest solar technology in the high-efficiency bifacial modules,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar.

The Suffield Solar Project will create 23 megawatts of generating capacity and power about 7,400 homes.  During construction, the $49 million project will employ about 250 people.

“On top of providing new sources of electricity to the local grid, increased awareness of renewables will help spur investment and support at the provincial, territorial, municipal and utility levels,” said Sohi.

Qu says “Canadian Solar is fully committed to promoting sustainable development in Canada”.

In a press release, Natural Resources Canada said the advanced solar technology employed in the Suffield project will improve electricity generation “despite snow coverage and will increase grid reliability during winter months”.

The new design is expected to increase the efficiency of energy generation between 10 to 15 per cent.

Funding for the project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program. The $200-million program is part of the Government of Canada’s more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan and is meant to expand the portfolio of commercially viable renewable energy sources in Canada.