Canadian Solar Power Resource Maps

This page contains a complete set of solar power maps (also called insolation maps, photovoltaic maps, and irradiance maps) for every Province and Territory in Canada. All solar maps are based on the photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset generated by National Resources Canada.

These solar power maps are free for use and distribution online and in print provided proper credit is given to Solar Panel Power Canada. If you require larger file sizes or have questions about your intended use, please contact [email protected]

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

Average Energy Production: 1133 kWh/kW/yr*

Variation Due To: Clouds, Fog, Latitude

Best Province: Saskatchewan

Worst Province: Newfoundland & Labrador

The average solar power system in Canada produces approximately 1133 kWh of energy per kW per yr.*

*Due to our conservative assumptions, true energy production may be 10-15% higher than indicated. We have already proposed a new set of assumptions for next year (see future changes section of about page) which will realistically increase energy production values. Remember, annual fluctuations in weather conditions may cause energy output to vary by up to 20% annually, thus the units in these maps, in either case, are subject to constant change and should be seen as estimates only.


How Solar Power Maps Work

Solar Power Maps Canada ScaleThese solar power maps are visual representations of the intensity of light that reaches the Earth’s surface in Canada. Because light energy is converted into electricity by solar panels, the maps are useful for estimating how much energy a solar system can produce depending on where it’s located.

Note: This capacity to turn light into electricity is what we call “Solar Energy Potential” and is a major ranking factor that we use to compare the feasibility of solar power across provinces and territories.

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 panel system (in units of kW).”

This number can then be used to calculate how many panels you would need to produce enough energy to offset your home’s usage.

For example, in a province with high solar energy potential like Saskatchewan, you would need less solar panels to produce the same amount of energy than in a province with low solar energy potential like Newfoundland and Labrador. We explain how to do this calculation in the “Basics” section of your Provincial Solar Guide (another page).

Still have questions? Please comment at the bottom of this page.


Solar Energy Potential by Province

Here are the provinces and territories ranked by Solar Energy Potential. The number indicated in the image below is the Solar Energy Potential (in units of kWh/kW/yr) multiplied by 5. Please do not be confused by the multiplication, this is an old internal standard that has been eliminated everywhere else on this page. It will also be eliminated in all charts for the year 2019.

Solar Energy Production Canada

1336 kWh/kW/yr

1301 kWh/kW/yr

1293 kWh/kW/yr

1195 kWh/kW/yr

1153 kWh/kW/yr

1140 kWh/kW/yr

1116 kWh/kW/yr

1109 kWh/kW/yr

1068 kWh/kW/yr

1064 kWh/kW/yr

1037 kWh/kW/yr

971 kWh/kW/yr

943 kWh/kW/yr

1133 kWh/kW/yr

Do you live in a province where solar potential is low? Don’t worry – in almost all areas of Canada it is possible to build a financially feasible ‘net-zero’ solar system. There are also several other things that you can do to improve your system’s efficiency, explained here (another page).

Additional food for thought: The average solar system in Germany can only produce about 980 kWh/kW/yr, yet Germany is seen as a global leader in solar power adoption with over 1.6 million individual systems installed!

Canada’s Best and Worst Places For Solar Power

The best place to produce solar power in Canada is in the prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan while the worst place for solar power in Canada is Newfoundland and Labrador. The variation between these two provinces is due mostly the annual average amount of cloud and fog cover.

The best town in Canada for producing solar power is Torquay, Saskatchewan with a solar energy potential of 1384 kWh/kW/yr and the worse is the small research base located in Eureka, Nunavut which has a solar energy potential of just 780 kWh/kW/yr. The variation between these two places is due primarily to the annual average amount of sunlight that reaches each.

Canada’s Best and Worst Months For Solar Power

The best month of the year to produce solar power in Canada is April (when days are mid-length and skies are generally clear), while the worse month of the year is December (when days are short).

Average Annual Solar Irradiation Maps by Province

Saskatchewan

The average solar power system in Saskatchewan will produce approximately 1336 kWh of energy per kW per year.*

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

Alberta

The average solar power system in Alberta will produce approximately 1301 kWh of energy per kW 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 solar power system in Manitoba will produce approximately 1293 kWh of energy per kW 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 solar power system in Ontario will produce approximately 1195 kWh of energy per kW 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 solar power system in Québec will produce approximately 1153 kWh of energy per kW per year.*

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

New Brunswick

The average solar power system in New Brunswick will produce approximately 1140 kWh of energy per kW 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)

Nunavut

The average solar power system in Nunavut will produce approximately 1116 kWh of energy per kW per year.*

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

Prince Edward Island

The average solar power system in Prince Edward Island will produce approximately 1109 kWh of energy per kW 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 solar power system in Nova Scotia will produce approximately 1068 kWh of energy per kW 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 solar power system in British Columbia will produce approximately 1064 kWh of energy per kW 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

The average solar power system in the Northwest Territories will produce approximately 1037 kWh of energy per kW per year.*

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 Territory

The average solar power system in the Yukon Territories will produce approximately 971 kWh of energy per kW per year.*

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

Newfoundland & Labrador

The average solar power system in Newfoundland & Labrador will produce approximately 943 kWh of energy per kW 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 are based on the photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset generated by the National Resources Canada.

*Due to our conservative assumptions, true energy production may be 10-15% higher than indicated. We have already proposed a new set of assumptions for next year (see future changes section of about page) which will realistically increase energy production values. Remember, annual fluctuations in weather conditions may cause energy output to vary by up to 20% annually, thus the units in these maps, in either case, are subject to constant change and should be seen as estimates only.

All solar power maps are free for use and distribution online and in print provided proper credit is given to Solar Panel Power Canada. If you require larger file sizes or have questions about your intended use, please contact [email protected]


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Keith McNeill

It would be interesting to do a map overlay showing wind power potential. Quite often when the sun is not shining the wind is blowing and vice versa.