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Solar Power Demonstration Site

The Saskatoon Solar Power Demonstration Site is a collaboration between Saskatoon Light & Power, the SES Solar Co-operative, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. The Solar Power Demonstration Site is located at the Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility, immediately west of the Valley Road interchange with Circle Drive South.

Electricity generated from the site is shown below. 

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Further energy information and historic trending 

Saskatoon Solar Power Demonstration Site

Demonstration Project Details

The site consists of four ground-mount arrays, with a total of 92 solar panels, and 30.66 kW generation capacity. Saskatoon Light & Power and the SES Solar Co-operative co-own a fixed angle ground-mount array and a manually adjustable ground-mount array, totaling 27.6 kW of solar power generation. Saskatchewan Polytechnic provided the two sun-tracking arrays, totaling 3.06 kW, on a long-term loan to the Saskatoon Solar Power Demonstration Site.

The key benefits the project provides are:

  • Achieves a Strategic Goal set by City Council to “Increase the use of renewable energy in City operations;”
  • Compares different solar collection systems in order that their cost and performance can be analyzed to inform future deployment;
  • Creates a source of solar power generation for SES Solar Co-operative;
  • Supports Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Green Energy Laboratory;
  • Provides all participants with access to a robust and comprehensive data set on typical solar power system operational characteristics in our local climate conditions.

The Solar Power Demonstration Site is located at the Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility and is electrically connected to the facility. Electricity generated by the solar panels will provide 40% of the electricity needed to run the Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility, such as cooling and exhaust fans, lights, computers, and other equipment needed to run the facility. To learn more about the Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility visit the Clean Power Generation Initiatives webpage.

Technical Details

Array Details: 

Array 1 - Manually Adjustable Angled Array - 13.8 kW

  • Array's angle manually adjustable to 30, 45, and 60 degrees.
  • 40 Polycrystalline Solar Panels at 345 watts each (13.8 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters

Array 2 - Fixed Angled Array - 13.8 kW

  • Fixed Angle at 45 degrees
  • 40 Polycrystalline Solar Panels at 345 watts each (13.8 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters

Array 3 - Dual Axis Sun-Tracking Array - 1.53 kW

  • 3 Polycrystalline Solar Panels at 255 watts each (0.765 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters
  • 3 Monocrystalline Solar Panels at 255 watts each (0.765 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters

Array 4 - Dual Axis Sun-Tracking Array - 1.53 kW

  • 3 Polycrystalline Solar Panels at 255 watts each (0.765 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters
  • 3 Monocrystalline Solar Panels at 255 watts each (0.765 kW), with 250 watt micro-inverters

 

Collaboration & Partnerships

The SES Solar Cooperative is the first renewable power co-operative in the province. Saskatoon Light & Power buys the electricity generated from the SES Solar Co-operative's share of the project. To learn more visit  SES Solar Co-operative.  The Saskatchewan Environmental Society contributed $25,000 to the project via the SES Solar Co-op. Visit their website to learn more about the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic provided the two sun-trackers to the Solar Demonstration Site on a long-term loan. Saskatoon Light & Power paid for the installation of equipment and will recover the cost of installation by generating electricity onsite instead of buying the electricity from SaskPower. To learn more visit Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

FAQs

Why does Saskatoon need a Solar Power Demonstration Site?

Solar Powered electricity generation is becoming more popular around the world, including here in Saskatoon. In 2014, solar power provided 1% of the world's electricity. Although this is currently a small amount of the global supply, the International Energy Agency predicts that solar could provide 16% of the world's electricity by 2050. Saskatoon is one of the sunniest places in Canada, receiving an average of 2267 hours of bright sunshine every year. There are multiple ways to capture the energy from the sun. The photovoltaic (PV) cells used at the demonstration site are the most common method of generating electricity. PV cells generate electricity when solar radiation (photons) strikes a PV semi-conductor to produce a difference in electrical potential (voltage). PV solar is becoming an economically competitive power source due to decreasing costs of the technology and more rigorous standards being applied to conventional energy. The falling cost of solar combined with rising grid costs is making solar an affordable and attractive option for generating electricity. The Solar Power Demonstration Site will help inform future deployment of solar power in Saskatoon and area.

 

Why did the City invest in the Solar Power Demonstration Site?

The Solar Demonstration Site meets several objectives of the City's Strategic Plan. The Environmental Leadership section identifies Long Term (10 year) Strategies including:

  • Create new sources of green energy where feasible.
  • Increase use of renewable energy in City operations.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tied to City operations.
  • Increase self-reliance on green energy for City operations.

The Environmental Leadership section of the Strategic Plan also identifies priorities for this term (4 years), including:

  • Communicate the financial benefit of environmental initiatives.
  • Identify opportunities to replace conventional energy sources with green energy technologies and find alternate ways of generating capacity to support operations.
  • Continue to implement the Energy and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan.
    • The Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan lays out a number of actions related to the development of renewable energy, and promotes community-wide demonstration projects.

This project also supports the City’s Strategic Goal of Economic Diversity and Prosperity to work collaboratively with educational institutions to promote Saskatoon as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.