Canada’s First Solar Neighbourhood

In partnership with ARISE Technologies Corporation, Cook Homes Limited, the City of Waterloo, Waterloo North Hydro, the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Kitchener, CanmetENERGY championed a TEAM-funded project to advance the development and demonstration of photovoltaic solar homes in Canada. This "community-based" approach was a major step in making available affordable and marketable PV solar home systems to residential customers in Canada. The project had five main components:

  • Develop and adapt building-integrated PV (BIPV) products for use on homes and for Canadian climatic conditions
  • Monitor PV systems performance when incorporated in the building envelope of energy efficient homes
  • Demonstrate grid-interactive solar electric systems
  • Provide an in-depth understanding of technical issues and address non-technical barriers in marketing PV solar homes in Canada (e.g. electrical grid-interconnection issues, overall energy efficient design for roof-integration, construction permit and regulatory requirements, community planning, financing)
  • Showcase the first community scale PV solar rooftop demonstration in a neighbourhood in Canada to accelerate the market implementation of PV technologies for economic and social development

The basis for this project was the CanmetENERGY findings of Photovoltaic for Buildings: Opportunities for Canada, a study examining the benefits of on-site generation of electricity using PV technology on buildings in Canada.