Market Snapshot: Power generation from large solar farms in Ontario almost doubled in 2016

Release date: 2017-02-08

Approximately 98% of Canadian solar capacity is installed in Ontario.Footnote 1 In the third quarter of 2016, that Ontario capacity reached 2 206 megawatts (MW).

Most Ontario installations consist of small photovoltaic systems in local electricity distribution systems, and there are few larger solar farms which connect to high-voltage transmission lines and participate in the Ontario wholesale electricity market. The total capacity of such farms increased from 30 MW in January 2015 to 270 MW in November 2016. In addition, generation from transmission-connected solar farms increased by more than 100% in the first three quarters of 2016.

Source and Description

Source: Independent Electricity System Operator

Description: The chart shows two series of bars representing monthly Ontario electricity generation in gigawatt hours (GW.h)Footnote 2 from transmission-connected solar sources in 2015 and 2016. Data for 2016 is only available from January through November. Generation was higher in 2016 than in 2015 for each month between January and November and significantly higher during the sunny summer months. Peak generation was reached in June 2016 at 59 GW.h.

Despite these recent capacity increases, transmission-connected solar farms still represent only 12% of Ontario’s solar capacity and accounted for less than half a percent of Ontario’s total electricity production in 2016. However, an additional 198 MW of transmission-connected solar capacity is currently under development shifting the Ontario solar industry toward larger-scale facilities designed to integrate with the broader electricity market.

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