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Calgary Solar Energy


A:

Only after going over this chapter, I realized how significant is the temperature gradient / variation in the power / energy generation in PV.
In the last few weeks there has been a lot of talking in the province of Alberta - Canada about an upcoming 'solar boom' given the new provincial government commitment for phasing-out generation of electricity from coal (which accounts for about 55% of the electricity generation in Alberta) by means of replacing it with Solar and Wind.
Solar in particular would find the Southern Albertan prairies as a perfect niche, the solar irradiation is vast in this particular region, although not as good as the South Western US desert, but good nonetheless. However, unlike the SW US desert, the Southern Albertan prairies are significantly cooler. I haven't done the math, but probably the energy output would be comparatively similar factoring both irradiation and temperature. From your experience and knowledge about the North American PV potential, do you think that my assertion is true?
Thanks!

Q:


I taught a class in Calgary at SAIT for the utility ENMAX. I had a great experience. I also have a friend that is doing some work for me who is moving out of Calgary tomorrow.
I think that the ups and downs with the price of petrol must be stressful in Alberta and it is a good thing for the provincial government to be going solar.

I know that Calgary has the best sunlight in Canada and the colder temperatures will give you an added benefit. If you wanted to make an estimate at how much more energy, you could do some research, but I would guess that the annual average temperature there would be 20 degrees cooler than Arizona. That could translate to about an 8% increase in production due to temperatures.

You would have to also take into consideration that AZ will have much more than an 8% increase in production due to increased sunlight, maybe 25% more sunlight...

One good thing about solar is that you make an investment and then you know how much your energy is going to cost for decades. With other energy, it can be subject to China buying coal, coal being shut down due to environmental concerns, oil prices all over the place due to events in the Middle East. Bankers like solar energy, because they know what they are getting.

Thanks,
Sean



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