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Canadian Solar Test Facility to Verify International Photovoltaics Energy Yield Standard

Dec 03, 2012


For Immediate Distribution

(TORONTO - December 3) - Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) today announced that Natural Resources Canada has made a $1 million investment through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative for a research project that will verify a new International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard (61853) for solar photovoltaic (PV) module power and energy ratings under outdoor conditions. 

"Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our Government is investing in innovative renewable energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "Today's announcement demonstrates our tangible support for renewable energy projects that increase energy efficiency and drive innovation."

The project's goal is to increase the reliability and the optimized performance of photovoltaics in Canada.  By providing environmentally specific energy ratings this project will help form one of the best available data sources in Canada on the performance of PVs in cold climates. Verification and eventual use of the standard in Canada will instill greater consumer confidence in PV technologies and provide a more stable environment for business investment in the solar sector. 

This project is expected to make a key contribution to Canada's transition to a marketable PV Industry. Primary testing of the standard will be conducted at TRCA's solar test facility at the Living City Campus in Vaughan. More information about the project can be found at TRCA's booth 1511 at the CANSIA Conference on December 3rd and 4th .

"Currently, solar modules are rated for power in the laboratory under what is known as Standard Test Conditions (STC).  While these ratings are useful, they do not accurately represent the variable conditions under which photovoltaic modules operate in the real world,"   said Tim Van Seters, Manager, Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program, TRCA. "The result of this project has great value throughout the PV supply chain. The ability to evaluate new products with a validated test protocol and test facility will help remove risk that comes with the commercialization of new PV products, provide stability for investment in the solar sector, instill consumer confidence, and contribute to the economic competitiveness of Canada"

The research project will develop and validate Energy Yield test standards for Photovoltaic Modules; provide significant contributions to the knowledge gap associated with Photovoltaic Power and Energy Yield data from real field conditions and assess the validity of the IEC 61853 Power and Energy Rating methodology.  Most significantly it will assess the relationship between the IEC energy calculation and actual energy yield under outdoor test conditions.  Through the validation of this comprehensive standard, energy yield calculations can be assessed based on site specific environmental conditions.  The project will also provide assessments of PV installations within the GTA that are part of the Solar City partnership, and apply and compare yield calculations from this standard to module and system yields at different sites.








Partner organizations involved in the project include: NRCan, Exova Canada Inc., SAIC, OSM Solar Corp., Eclipsall Energy Corp., Heliene Inc., George Brown College, York University, Region of Peel, Region of York, and City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, and PowerStream

The results of these studies will be available to the public and to industry stakeholders in after the four year research is complete.  These findings will be made available through published reports, TRCA websites, presentations at conferences and workshops for industry professionals.



Toronto and Region Conservation

With over fifty years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  TRCA provides training on solar technologies and conducts third party verifications of solar installations through the SolarCity Technology Assessment Partnership, the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program and Photovoltaic Performance Verification (PVPV) program, established in 2011 at the Living City Campus PV field test site in Vaughan.   For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at or



For media information contact:

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation  416.661.6600 ext 5632,




Carly Wolff, Press Secretary, Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources 613-996-2007



Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada 613-992-4447


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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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