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Ground-breaking Solar

The Drake Landing Solar Community, the brainchild of NRCan’s Solar Thermal Research group, continues to receive media attention for its unprecedented achievements.

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Doug McClenahan (left) accepts the Energy Globe Award in 2011 for the Drake Landing Solar Community.

The Drake Landing Solar Community and Doug McClenahan, CanmetENERGY-Ottawa’s Manager of Renewable Heat and Power Research & Development, were recently featured on The Weather Network. The video highlights the application of solar thermal research with clips of the community and interviews with Doug McClenahan and Keith Paget of Sterling Homes.

The Drake Landing Solar Community is a 52-house subdivision in Okotoks, Alberta which uses solar thermal energy and seasonal heat storage to meet close to 100% of the space heating needs of the community, a first in the world. It has garnered international recognition and has won multiple awards, most recently the Energy Globe World Award in 2011 and the International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating & Cooling Award in 2013.

More coverage of this innovative project is provided by the High Performance Buildings Magazine of ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.  The fifteen page article provides an in-depth look at the solar seasonal thermal energy storage and the sustainable design of the community.

More information about the Drake Landing Solar Community and our work in solar thermal technology can be found at our publications page.

An aerial view of the Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta shows the vast size and unique suburban set up. Its use of innovative seasonal storage technologies allow for greater residential space heating in these energy-efficient houses.


During the summer, some 24700 ft2 of hydronic flat-plate collectors collect and store the solar heat in a borehole in the soil underground.


Most people are not aware that many Canadian cities receive more solar radiation in the summer than Miami, Florida. The Drake Landing Solar Community orients its solar receivers at a steeper angle due to the more northern latitudes and therefore benefits from the longer daylight hours in the summer.

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