Canada funds two Ontario projects

The Canadian government will provide C$5.1m ($4.75m) through its sustainable development technology fund to support “cutting-edge” projects at Ontario-based Ubiquity Solar and Morgan Solar.

Ubiquity Solar will get C$3.1m to help fund a pilot plant that will produce the company’s proprietary high performance silicon bricks and wafers.

“The modules made with this material are more efficient than current industry standard products, are less susceptible to light-induced degradation and hold the potential for very long lifetimes, resulting in a major increase in the energy captured over the lifespan of a solar system,” according to a Natural Resources Canada statement.

“This technology will further improve the economics of solar energy, increasing the profits of component manufacturers and expanding the environmental benefits of PV,” it adds.

Ubiquity, based in Waterloo, Ontario, earlier announced plans to set up a C$11m pilot manufacturing plant to be located in the Bluewater Energy Park in Sarnia. It heads a 10-member project consortium. Plans call for construction of a full-scale manufacturing facility there in 2016.

Toronto-based Morgan Solar was awarded C$2m to continue development of its CPV panel technology which Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) says is twice as efficient as conventional silicon PV panels, and can be manufactured for half the cost.

This project will lower the number of parts needed to produce a panel while using a lower-cost material for those parts. Initially designed for utility scale projects – large ground-mounted solar farms – the light-weight and small form factor of the “Sun Simba 4” also shows great promise for future rooftop, small scale and off-grid applications.

About 63% of Canada’s electric generation is from renewable sources.