Solar Power at the  Transfer Station

When you drive into the Mt. Lorne Transfer Station, take a minute to look over the top of the reuse and recycle buildings and check out the large array of solar panels on the hillside. It’s pretty impressive!

There are 162 of them, each 310 watts, which totals a solar array capable of producing 50.2 kilowatts of energy. At the time of construction this was the largest solar array in the Yukon, (there is a 300+ watt system planned and being tested now in Old Crow which is super impressive as well).

This project was funded by the Build Canada Fund, through Yukon Government as the Transfer Station is a government site.

Since these panels have been in operation they have produced approximately 8 times more power than we have used here at the Transfer Station.

With all this surplus energy we are looking for ways to become as self sufficient as possible. Last year, with the help of locally donated labour, we installed an EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station, one of the first of these to be available to the public in the Yukon. Now we are actively investigating the possibility of acquiring (or potentially modifying) an EV truck for hauling our recyclables to Whitehorse for processing. If we are successful, this would mean that 100% of our operating and transportation energy requirements would be generated on site, making us almost totally self sufficient, at least on an energy usage basis.

In 2018 we were able to work with Natural Resource Canada (NRCAN) to install an intensive monitoring system on the solar system. The objective of this collaboration is to improve the knowledge base regarding the performance of Canadian grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems that are located north of the 60th parallel.  Sources of reliable and comparable data for such systems are few and far in-between.  Furthermore, PV systems have no moving parts, are virtually silent, do not release atmospheric emissions, and as such it can be difficult to determine if they are operating as they should be. Monitoring of input irradiance and output power serves an essential role in helping to convey PV system functionality and performance to stakeholders.”

In this context, NRCAN’s goal is to obtain more data on the performance and durability of PV systems in northern climatic conditions in order to support the deployment of distributed energy resource (DER) technologies and provide policy and regulatory support related to the adoption of these technologies in Canada. One of the main purposes for supporting the adoption of technologies such as solar PV systems is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and their associated GHG emissions.

Update Mt. Lorne Transfer Station Solar System 2024

Last summer we noticed severe wind erosion had exposed the ground supports on the solar system causing twisting of the racking system. The Yukon Government (YG) entered into a contract with a local solar company to rectify the problem. The end result was the existing system needed to be disassembled and new ground supports installed to a greater depth. They were able to reuse the existing solar panels and racking system during the project.  YG also decided to replace the existing APsystems Microinverters that had been failing quite often since the initial installation with a Fronius inverter system. Please note that the Fronius public monitoring webpage does not provide as much detail as the previous APsystems monitoring information. 

Below: Daily Data Tracker for Mt. Lorne Transfer Station solar system

Click on link to take you to the Monitoring Site