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Canada’s largest solar research park launched


Toronto, ON – The University of Toronto (U of T), Arise Technologies and Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) have joined forces to create Canada’s largest solar research facility, which will be located on PEC’s site on Toronto’s waterfront.

When completed, the facility will harvest enough solar energy to power up to 1,000 homes.
Under the agreement, PEC will provide land worth about $2.4 million. Arise will design and install a photo power system utilizing high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) cell technology developed by Arise and U of T. The solar park will create between 500 kilowatts and 1 megawatt, representing an investment between $5 to $8 million.

U of T students and staff at Arise will use the facility to conduct research on renewable energy systems and technologies. This will help develop the utilization of PV systems for commercial and utility scale systems.

The PEC site is an ideal location for this project as it is an urban setting close to the university, has access to transmission lines and offers a large tract of land with an unobstructed southern exposure.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to get first hand exposure to commercial scale solar electric systems,” says Nazir Kherani, a photovoltaics professor at U of T.

“In addition, the facility will provide a research venue for large scale, grid connected photovoltaic systems,” says Reza Iravani, an energy systems professor at the university.

“We are very pleased to be involved with this and will use this project as a large scale deployment of our high efficiency PV cells. We expect that the cells used in modules for this project will be produced by one of our partner companies. This project will provide an opportunity for our systems group to study and optimize implementation of large scale systems for deployment in Ontario,” says Ian MacLellan, president and CEO of Arise.