Solar Energy

Electrification is by far the most dynamic element of the energy transition to net-zero. Solar photovoltaic (PV) generation is set to grow 30-fold globally from now to 2050.  EcoSmart has been working in that field since 2008 developing tools, training programs and actual projects.

Projects

Two large-scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic farms.

Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm

The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm is the first large-scale solar plant 100% owned and operated by a First Nation in Canada. Located in the Chilcotin (BC-Canada) on the brownfield site of a former sawmill, it is the largest solar farm in operation in BC.  The electricity generated is sold to BC Hydro through a long-term contract.

The project demonstrates the interest and capacity of Indigenous communities to develop their own renewable energy facilities. It illustrates also the outstanding solar resources in the BC Interior.

It also improved the knowledge on how to deal with the tough conditions of the BC interior: high latitude, rocky ground, harsh winter, grid interconnection and remoteness.

 

SunMine

SunMine was the first large-scale solar farm installed west of Ontario. It is located on the Teck Mine brownfield site in Kimberley BC. at 1,200 m altitude near the Rockies. The project was conducted by a partnership between Teck, the City of Kimberley and EcoSmart. The electricity generated is sold to BC Hydro through an IPP contract..

The project demonstrates the benefits of redeveloping industrial brownfields into solar farms (from brownfield to brightfield) and reusing legacy infrastructures (roads, electrical grid & substation). It transformed a liability into an asset.

SunMine’s performance is among the best in North America (2000 hr/yr) thanks to a combination of high altitude (1,200 m), high solar irradiance, low ambient temperatures (improving the modules thermal performance) and innovative double-axis trackers that move the arrays continuously to face the sun.

 

BC has 200 IPPs, but only 2 are PV solar, both were created by EcoSmart.

Map of Independent Power Producers in BC, Canada

SunMine

Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm

Knowledge Management

Maps, tools and education material in support of solar energy.

Solar Maps of Canada

EcoSmart has produced solar energy maps for every Canada province.
The maps have a fine definition based on a 10×10 km grid of satellite data (100,000 points across Canada). Each point indicates the annual energy yield in kWh per kWp of an optimal PV solar array installed on any type of mounting systems: fixed, polar tracker, horizontal tracker and dual-axis tracker. The results take into account the conditions that may affect PV performance such as ambient temperature or low irradiation. The maps are based on TMY and P95 statistical data.

EcoSmart solar maps are more precise than any other maps made for Canada. They are freely available on ecosmartsun.com

 

Tools & Training

EcoSmart uses sophisticated tools and simulation programs to provide accurate ‘Solar Intelligence’ at every step of a project and make a solar system the most efficient and cost-effective. It includes on-site data measurement, acquisition of high-precision solar data, mapping, data analysis and long-term energy forecast, uncertainties and statistical analysis, and economic analysis.

We have created education material and programs for developers, engineers, technicians, installers and operators on the design, installation, management, maintenance and operation of a solar system.