Ontario Leads in Solar Energy

solar panels in canada

Ontario has been tabbed as the Canadian leader in solar energy, with provincial incentives coupled with federal tax credits ensuring the alternative energy source continues to gain traction.

According to a report by GlobalData, Ontario’s Green Power Tariff and the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program have helped buoy the solar market in the province. Measures implemented following the introduction of the Ontario Green Energy Act in 2009 provide financial incentives for solar power, regulating the solar industry and implementing domestic solar power content.

As a result, solar backsheet installations increased at a compound rate of 131 per cent per year in recent years. Between 2006 and 2011, the capacity of backsheet installations leapt from four megawatts to 240 megawatts.

In Canada as a whole, capacity climbed from 20 megawatts in 2006 to 500 megawatts in 2011.

According to the GlobalData report, more growth is expected leading up to the year 2020, with Ontario’s capacity increasing to 937 megawatts and Canada’s capacity forecast to increase to 6,579 megawatts.

The news for Ontario’s solar industry continues to improve, with Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. and Penn Energy Renewables Ltd. announcing an expansion to an existing agreement with the addition of a new solar power project in the province.

solar panels in canada

The two organizations have reached an agreement on an additional 10 megawatt engineering, procurement and construction contract.

“Our mission is to provide homes, businesses and schools with solar power that connects directly to existing electrical distribution lines. It is critical to our success that we have a strong EPC partner, which we have found with Canadian Solar,” said Sean McCloskey of Penn Energy Renewables.

The project will provide enough energy to power 1,462 homes and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 234,440 metric tons over 20 years.

The new project will add to 18.7 megawatts in previously announced joint solar commitments between the two companies. Construction on those projects is underway and expected to be completed by summer of 2013.

“These projects will significantly contribute to the growth of solar powered energy and job creation in the Ontario market, and extend our position as a leading provider of solar energy solutions in Canada,” said Canadian Solar chair and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu.

By Richard Barnes
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