This open source tool maps Canada’s solar potential


From pv magazine Global

Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources has launched an open-source web-mapping application that provides estimates of photovoltaic potential and daily global insolation rates for any location in Canada.

The maps – designed by the Canadian Forest Service, the CanmetENERGY Renewable Energy Integration group, and the Federal Geospatial Platform – also include data provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The maps are presented for each month and for the entire year and cover six different PV array orientations: a sun-tracking orientation, a horizontal orientation and four fixed South-facing orientations with latitude, vertical (90 degrees) and latitude ± 15-degree tilts.

The tool also allows users to collect data on single municipalities from a dataset of 3,500 places. Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have the country’s highest solar radiation levels.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Canada had 3.31 GW of installed capacity by the end of 2019. Most of this capacity is located in Ontario, which has supported solar through a feed-in tariff scheme that is now expired.

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