PowerStream Solar in Ontario, Canada recently opened its first solar photovoltaic (PV) generating facility on the roof of the electric utility’s Patterson Road operations centre in Barrie. While this in itself isn’t necessarily that interesting, what is interesting is that this rooftop solar operation is serving as as testbed for various solar technologies.
This 243 kilowatt (kW) generating facility, according to PowerStream, currently hosts nine solar PV systems, consisting of 1,048 solar panels, from a number of manufacturers that are mounted on different styles of racking systems.
Aside from the added electricity, PowerStream installed the panels in order to gain first-hand knowledge of the efficiencies of various solar technologies. The lab will monitor and confirm manufacturer’s data of each system’s performance levels, reaction to different environments and performance of the components. This data will be used to select the appropriate panels for future clients and even make improvements upon the installation of these panels.
PowerStream Solar is operated by the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario, providing service to more than 330,000 customers. Its solar power rooftop facility is connected to the provincial grid under Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program.