Solar Power in Canada: 12 Facts

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Canada’s solar industry has rapidly expanded over the past several years, with capacity growing eight times and generation increasing nineteen times between 2011 and 2021. With the continued expansion of new projects across the country, solar power is poised to contribute even more to Canada’s already world-class electricity grid -- 82 per cent of which currently comes from non-emission sources such as hydro and nuclear.

Today, Canada is home to 196 major solar energy projects, the largest of which are found in Alberta and Ontario. Additionally, more than 43,000 solar (PV) energy installations are found on residential, commercial and industrial rooftops across the country, providing power directly to those homes and businesses.

If you want to learn more about solar power in Canada, you’ll enjoy the facts below procured by us for your use from the most reliable online sources. Also see:

Canadian Solar Power Facts

Solar power in Canada - the largest solar project in Canada is in Alberta, 1,600 CFL football fields large

#1. Canada had 4,554 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity in 2021, which is eight times more than it did in 2011 [1]

#2. Canada was capable of generating 4.8 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity from solar in 2021, which is 19 times more than it did in 2011 [1]

#3. Canada is home to 196 major solar power projects across the country [1]

#4. Canada’s largest solar projects (bigger than >25 MW) are found entirely in Alberta and Ontario [1]:

  • Travers Solar Project – Alberta – 465 MW
  • Claresholm Solar Project – Alberta – 132 MW
  • Kingston Solar Project – Ontario – 100 MW
  • Grand Renewable Energy Park – Ontario – 100MW
  • Clydesdale 1&2 – Alberta – 75 MW
  • Loyalist Solar Project – Ontario – 54 MW
  • Windsor Solar – Ontario – 50 MW
  • Southgate Solar – Ontario – 50 MW
  • Nanticoke Solar – Ontario – 44 MW
  • Strathmore Solar – Alberta – 41 MW

#5. Canada is home to more than 43,000 solar (photovoltaic – PV) energy installations on residential, commercial and industrial rooftops nationwide [2]

#6. Canada’s solar energy capacity grew by 13.6% year-over-year in 2021 [4]

#7. Canada’s solar energy capacity growth in 2021 was found in the following provinces and territories [4]:

  • Alberta – 250 MW
  • Saskatchewan – 21 MW
  • Quebec – 9.5 MW
  • Nova Scotia – 4.8 MW
  • Ontario – 0.3 MW
  • Yukon – 1.5 MW
  • Prince Edward Island – 0.1 MV

#8. Canada was home to approximately 0.4% of global solar power capacity in 2022 [1]

#9. More than one-quarter of all solar capacity installed in Canada was added in 2022 [5]

#10. Western Canada accounted for 98% of Canada’s total solar power expansion in 2022, with Alberta adding 1,391 MW and Saskatchewan adding 387 MW of installed capacity. Quebec added 24 MW to the total growth for 2022, Ontario 10 MW, and Nova Scotia 2 MW [5]

#11. Solar power production in Canada is highly seasonal; because of Canada’s location in the northern hemisphere, daylight is limited in the fall and winter, and as a result, a majority of electricity produced by solar panels is in the spring and summer [3]

#12. - The Travers Solar Power Project in Alberta has 1.3 million solar panels, covering a land area the size of 1,600 football fields - more than five square miles - and generates enough electricity to power 150,000 households [6]

The Future of Solar Power in Canada

solar power in canada facts - Ontario used to account for nearly all of Canada's solar power in 2019

Canada's solar power sector exhibits continued and significant growth potential. In particular, Alberta is currently witnessing a surge in solar power development, often compared to a gold rush by many energy experts. The province’s dramatic increase in solar activity results from various market and policy factors that have created favourable conditions for solar investments.

Notably, Alberta and Ontario's deregulated energy markets facilitate competition and enable easier access for companies to procure renewable power. Southern Alberta, with its abundant sunlight, stands out with especially high solar power potential. This is underscored by the establishment of the Travers Solar Project in Vulcan County, which represents Canada's largest solar farm to date (1.3 million solar panels across five square miles, the same size as 1,600 CFL fields and counts Amazon among its clients.

Across Canada, the move towards more sustainable energy sources is encouraged by federal programs and initiatives, notwithstanding challenges related to the storage and reliability of renewable energy sources. The federal government's approach to this is multi-faceted, including investments in modern grid infrastructure, battery storage technology, and carbon capture and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian society at large.

The solar power industry has a bright future in Canada. We should all support the responsible development of new solar power capacity and generation, as we should also support other forms of energy such as oil, natural gas, wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, hydrogen, etc. for a more prosperous and energy-secure nation.

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