• Canadian Solar will build a 23 MW bifacial solar power plant in Canada near Alberta in Suffield
  • It will get government support in the form of $15.3 million towards total project cost of $49 million
  • CanSIA says this will be the first large scale bifacial solar power project in the country

The Canadian government has said it will fund the construction of a bifacial solar power project with 23 MW generating capacity to be located in southeastern Alberta. Canadian Solar, a Chinese solar power company based out of Canada, owns the project and will also develop it through its subsidiary Suffield Solar LP.

The Canadian Solar Association (CanSIA) says this will be first time in in the country bifacial solar panels will be used for a large-scale project.

Bifacial photovoltaic technology is a great fit for Southern Alberta,” said Patrick Bateman, director of Policy and Market Development at CanSIA. “In the summer, the prairies receive more hours of sunlight than Miami. In winter, snow cover on the ground acts as a mirror and the energy in the reflected light is captured by this innovative technology.”

Amarjeet Sohi, the country’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced funding of $15.3 million for this project from the Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) $200 million Emerging Renewable Power Program through which the federal government helps expand the portfolio of commercially viable renewable energy sources for provinces and territories. This $200 million program itself is part of the government’s over $180 billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

Total project cost of the Suffield Solar Project to come up near Suffield is $49 million. During construction, the project will employ some 250 people and on completion, it will power about 7,400 households annually. The government called the use of bifacial modules a ‘novel approach’ that will ‘demonstrate the potential of two-sided solar panels in Canada’. It will be designed to increase the efficiency of energy generation by 10% to 15%.

In November 2018, Canadian Solar announced its first significant delivery for its bifacial modules for a 10 MW solar project portfolio in the US (see Canadian Solar Gets Bifacial Module Deal).