"We've enjoyed partnering with Direct Energy to develop creative solutions like the long-term electricity off-take agreement signed on the Suffield solar project," said Shawn Qu, chairman at Canadian Solar.
Bifacial modules, such as Canadian Solar's high efficiency BiKu modules that will be used on the project, produce electricity from both sides of the solar panel allowing for an increase in both total energy generation and in reliability during winter months. The Suffield project will also employ single-axis trackers, which allow the solar arrays to follow the sun's trajectory throughout the day, also maximizing electricity production.
"With increased customer demand in summer, the addition of 23 megawatts of solar output will help Direct Energy build renewable power supply options for our customers and provide an alternative to traditional market-based hedges," said David Brast, Senior Vice President, North America – Power & Gas, Direct Energy Business.
While the majority of funding for the facility has been provided through private market investment, it was announced in January that the Suffield project was awarded $15.3 million in funding through Natural Resources Canada's Emerging Renewable Power Program. Suffield was selected for this funding as the project will deploy within Canada some of the latest advancements in renewable technology, while spurring further investment in the industry.
Suffield will employ approximately 250 people during construction and will power approximately 7,400 households annually once it enters operation in 2020.