Farm ties to next generation of solar technology?

May 27, 2010
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May 28, 2010, Guelph, Ont. — Ag Energy Co-operative will be teaming up with the University of Waterloo to accelerate the research and development of an exciting new solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.
May 28, 2010, Guelph, Ont. — Ag Energy Co-operative will be teaming up with the University of Waterloo to accelerate the research and development of an exciting new solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

The farmer-owned co-operative believes the dye-sensitized solar cell is a promising device concept that has high potential for cost-effective application that would be suitable for the agricultural sector.

solar_panelsUnder the arrangement, which is subject to receiving a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the University of Waterloo will develop a novel three-dimensional technology with nano-structured electrodes and demonstrate the technical and economic advantages to the packaging and installation of such solar cells.

“Not only is it the right thing to do both environmentally and socially, but it just makes economic sense,” says AgEnergy CEO Mike Bouk. “Ag Energy is honoured to work with the University of Waterloo and its widely accredited research team. Together, we hope to advance solar development in a fashion that will make this type of generation even more accessible for the agricultural sector.”

Dr. Siva Sivoththaman, director of the Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems (CAPDS) at the University of Waterloo, says “this project offers a great opportunity for the university to partner with the community around us. We look forward to working with Ag Energy.”

With the Green Energy Act’s feed-in-tariff regime, solar PV is definitely a hot topic for Ontario’s agricultural community. With solar PV receiving a premium of 80.3 cents per kWh generated for micro applications, the opportunity to invest in renewable energy and for smaller energy producers to get involved has never been better.

Ag Energy Co-operative is an independent, farmer-owned co-operative formed in 1988 to provide energy products and services to its members and customers within Ontario agriculture. It represents half of the natural gas and one third of the electricity consumed by Ontario agriculture.

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