Commercial and Rooftop Solar Power

On this page, we’ll discuss Commercial and Rooftop Solar Power, one of the 5 action areas identified in the R2Rv2 Study.

Solar power is an intermittent source of renewable energy from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that only provides power during the daytime, and thus must be used in combination with energy storage and other renewable energies to provide a reliable, consistent supply of power. After installation, solar power generates virtually no greenhouse gases or other pollution.

Solar is a mature technology. Large-scale solar energy projects have existed for decades around the world. Solar technology has improved immensely in recent years, and the cost of solar energy has dropped dramatically.

Manitoba has the 3rd best solar resource in Canada, but still makes up less than 2% of our overall electricity generation. Adding solar energy capacity will help replace fossil fuel use and protect Manitoba Hydro from the impacts of drought.

Ground-mounted commercial solar facilities can range in size from 1 MW to 500 MW or larger and generate significant amounts of energy. These facilities require large amounts of land, but can be built on parking lots above cars, or on farms above shade-loving plants or grazing animals, which is also known as agrivoltaics.

Solar PV panels can also be mounted on the rooftops of buildings. Although this method requires no additional land use, there are increased installation and maintenance costs and extra care must be taken to optimize the location and orientation of the panels to avoid shaded areas.

Technical Analysis

Recommended ActionsPeak Demand
(Firm MW)
Energy (GWh/yr)% of Target (Power)% of Target (Energy)
Rooftop Solar02,0420%7.3%
Ground Mounted Arrays06,5510%23.3%

Details and Assumptions

  1. A proposed total amount of 4,000 MW for ground-mounted commercial solar arrays for the provinces. The land required is about 28,000 acres (or 11,300 hectares or about 25% of Winnipeg’s size).
  2. A proposed total amount of 1,600 MW for rooftop solar. This requires solar panels to be installed on approximately 50% of all buildings in Manitoba.
  3. The estimated amount of energy generated per MW of installed solar is 1.62 GWh.
  4. A firm capacity factor at 13% of installed capacity has been assumed.

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