Canadian Solar Resource Maps For 2018

Canada is an extremely viable country for solar power compared to the rest of the world. Partially because we have so much space, but also because our days are so long in the summer. However, annual average solar irradiation varies greatly from province to province.

 

Solar Resources Canada Map - Annual Average Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Canada. The scale is measured in DC output in kWh/kW. Data collected from National Resources Canada and map build and used with permission by EcoSmart. (see full size image)

The amount and intensity of light that is able to reach the Earth’s surface is called solar irradiation. This is the energy that your solar system turns into electricity.

Average annual solar irradiation in Canada depends on a number of factors including:

  • Average number of sunny days (clouds are bad, rain is bad, snow is the worst)
  • Elevation (closer to the sun in better because there is less atmospheric blockage)
  • Temperature (solar panels are more efficient in the cold)
  • Shading (think mountainous and forested areas)
  • Latitude (further south is generally better)

Canada’s Solar Potential Ranked by Province

Here are the provinces ranked by solar potential. The amount indicated is how much energy (in kWh) that an average residential solar array (5kW) can produce during the course of a year:

Solar Power Potential By Province

6678 kWh

6505 kWh

6464 kWh

5976 kWh

5766 kWh

5702 kWh

5579 kWh

#8 Prince Edward Island

#9 Nova Scotia

#10 British Columbia

#11 North West Territories

#12 Yukon Territories

#13 Newfoundland & Labrador

Canada Average

5543 kWh

5342 kWh

5320 kWh

5187 kWh

4855 kWh

4713 kWh

5664 kWh

Do you live in a province where solar potential is low? Don’t worry, you can improve your system’s performance by installing a solar tracking system or by fixing your panels to the optimal angle for your area!

Here is some additional food for thought: The average system in Germany produces only about 4900 kWh, but they still have over 1.6 million solar systems installed! (That’s waaaay more than Canada)

Canada’s Best and Worst Places

  • The average 5 kW solar power system in Canada produces 5664 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average 5 kW solar power system in Eureka, Nunavut produces just 3897 kWh of energy per year. This is Canada’s worst town for producing solar power!
  • The average 5 kW solar power system in Torquay, Saskatchewan produces 6920 kWh of energy per year. This is Canada’s best town for producing solar power!

Canada’s Best and Worst Months

  • The best month of the year to produce solar power is in April.
  • The worst month of the year to produce solar power is in December.

Average Annual Solar Irradiation Maps by Province

Saskatchewan

The average 5 kW solar power system in Saskatchewan will produce 6678 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Regina will produce 6797 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Saskatoon will produce 6742 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Prince Albert will produce 6496 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Saskatchewan - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Saskatchewan measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

Alberta

The average 5 kW solar power system in Alberta will produce 6505 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Medicine Hat will produce 6838 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Calgary will produce 6454 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Edmonton will produce 6222 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Alberta - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Alberta measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

Manitoba

The average 5 kW solar power system in Manitoba will produce 6464 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Brandon will produce 6701 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Winnipeg will produce 6359 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Swan River will produce 6332kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Manitoba - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Manitoba measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

Ontario

The average 5 kW solar power system in Ontario will produce 5976 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Thunder Bay will produce 6126 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Ottawa will produce 5990 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Toronto will produce 5812 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Ontario - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Ontario measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

Québec

The average 5 kW solar power system in Québec will produce 5766 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Monteal will produce 5976 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Québec City will produce 5675 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Saguenay will produce 5648 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Quebec - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Quebec measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

New Brunswick

The average 5 kW solar power system in New Brunswick will produce 5702 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Fredericton will produce 5730 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Moncton will produce 5716 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Saint John will produce 5661 kWh of energy per year.

 

Solar Resource Map New Brunswick - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in New Brunswick measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

Prince Edward Island / Newfoundland & Labrador

The average 5 kW solar power system in Prince Edward Island will produce 5543 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Summerside will produce 5620 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Charlottetown will produce 5511 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Stratford will produce 5497 kWh of energy per year.

The average 5 kW solar power system in Newfoundland & Labrador will produce 4713 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Corner Brook will produce 4745 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Conception Bay will produce 4732 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Mount Pearl will produce 4663 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Maritimes - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Prince Edward Island / Newfoundland & Labrador measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

Nova Scotia

The average 5 kW solar power system in Nova Scotia will produce 5342 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Kingston will produce 5607 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Halifax will produce 5360 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Cape Breton will produce 5060 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map Nova Scotia - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in Nova Scotia measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

 

British Columbia

The average 5 kW solar power system in British Columbia will produce 5320 kWh of energy per year.

  • The average solar power system in Kelowna will produce 5661 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Victoria will produce 5456 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Vancouver will produce 4841 kWh of energy per year.
Solar Resource Map British Columbia - Annual Average Solar Irradiation
This map shows the annual average potential for a solar panels in British Columbia measured in DC output in kWh/kW. (see full size image)

These maps were created and used with permission by EcoSmart using the photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset generated by the National Resources Canada.


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12 Comments on "Canadian Solar Resource Maps For 2018"

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Ianjb
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But what does a 5 kW station imply? Is it enough to power a house, is it a panel or two on the roof or do you need an acre of panels, and does the 5 kW produce enough for light heat, cooling hot water or does it run a hair dryer for 10 minutes. Most people have no idea what this means. Also finally what is the cost of this? If it is in the thousands it is out of reach for most consumers. You need a pay back in 5-7 years or it just isn’t worth it. Sound… Read more »
Guardineer
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Pls advise what annual increase in power cost you used in your payback calc. Also need links to Provinicial and Federal rebate programs, if any

Barclay Bob
Guest

Hold on. I don’t get. Is it the higher the kWhs the better it is in every season whether rain or sun?

Rebecca Sharks
Guest

Nice! So saskatchewa has got the highest energy produced by solar arrays? But I still don’t get the measurement used!