Despite being behind other nations in solar, including the US and China, Canada does have a lot of solar insolation and both CSP and PV potential.
Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal plant is opening up in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Known as the “Gas City” with its natural gas reserves, Green Energy Futures reports that the city will house a 1-megawatt (MW) project, making this the most northern-based concentrated solar thermal plant… and also one of the smallest ones out there.
Back eight years ago, Medicine Hat began charting a course towards a more sustainable energy path with Hat Smart. The program nearly gave $4 million in rebates between 2008 and June, 2014. This helped residents with economic incentives to do energy audits, along with buying more energy-efficient fridges and air conditioners. Hat Smart also helped create various small-scale solar projects.
However, the showpiece of Medicine Hat’s sustainable development plan is this concentrated solar thermal project.
Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston said they had to change and better diversify their energy mix, moving away from just using natural gas. The new 1 MW plant will coincide with the city’s 204 MW natural gas plant, in Canada’s sunniest city.