Canadian Solar Power Resource Maps

This page contains a complete set of solar power maps (also called insolation maps, photovoltaic maps, or irradiance maps) for every Province and Territory in Canada. All solar maps were build using the photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset generated by the National Resources Canada with the exception of the main map at the top of the page which is created and used with permission by EcoSmart.

 

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)

Energy Production Average: 5664 kWh/5kW/yr

Best Province: Saskatchewan

Energy Production Factors: Clouds, Fog, Snow

Worst Province: Newfoundland & Labrador

Canada is an extremely viable country for solar power – almost any homeowner can offset their yearly energy usage with a reasonable amount of south, west, or east facing roof space. This is partially because Canada receives so much sunlight, but also because solar panels are more efficiency in cold weather than in hot! However, the annual average solar irradiation varies greatly from province to province.


How Solar Maps Work

Solar maps are a visual representation of the amount and intensity of light that’s able to reach the Earth’s surface. Because this is the same light energy that’s converted to electricity by solar panels, the maps are useful for determining how much power your panels can produce – depending on your geopgraphical area.

The maps are presented in units of “kWh/kW/yr” which is the same as saying, “How much energy (in units of kWh) can I produce per year (yr) given the size of my solar panels (in units of kW).”

This is an important consideration because it means that solar panels produce different amounts of energy depending on where they’re located. This means that you would need less panels to produce the energy you need if you’re located in a province with lots of sunlight (like Saskatchewan) compared to a province with little sunlight (like Newfoundland and Labrador).

*Still have questions? Please comment at the bottom of this page and we will promptly reply, then update this page as needed.


Solar Power Potential 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 Energy Production Canada

6678 kWh

6505 kWh

6464 kWh

5976 kWh

5766 kWh

5702 kWh

5579 kWh

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 in Canada depends on a number of factors including:

  • Average number of sunny days (clouds are bad, fog 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)

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.

[Map coming June 1st, 2018]


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 Power Map Alberta
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Alberta, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

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 Power Map Manitoba
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Manitoba, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

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 Power Map Ontario
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Ontario, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

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.

[Map coming June 1st, 2018]


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 Power Map New Brunswick
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in New Brunswick, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

Prince Edward Island

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.
Solar Power Map Prince Edward Island
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Prince Edward Island, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

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 Power Map Nova Scotia
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Nova Scotia, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

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 Power Map British Columbia
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in British Columbia, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

Northwest Territories

Solar Power Map Northwest Territories
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in the Northwest Territories, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

Yukon Territories

Solar Power Map Yukon Territories
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in the Yukon Territories, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

Newfoundland & Labrador

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 Power Map Newfoundland and Labrador
Annual average energy production potential for a solar panels in Newfoundland and Labrador, measured in kWh/kW/yr. (full size map)

These maps were created using the photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset generated by the National Resources Canada with the exception of the main map at the top of the page which is created and used with permission by EcoSmart.


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