Minister Carr Celebrates Deal Between World’s Largest Solar Thermal Company and CanmetENERGY During China Mission

News Release

June 8, 2017                                         Ottawa                                      Natural Resources Canada

Deepening Canada’s clean technology relationship with China is a priority for the Government of Canada. Canada can play a key role in helping China meet its green growth demand and climate change objectives while creating benefits for Canadians. 

The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, oversaw the signing of a $5-million agreement today in Beijing between Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY and Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy Ltd., the largest solar thermal company in the world. 

Through the agreement, CanmetENERGY will provide technical support for Sunrain’s development of solar seasonal storage district heating systems in China, from initial screening and feasibility assessment studies to detailed engineering design and performance monitoring of large-scale solar seasonal storage sites. 

The agreement is an opportunity to accelerate the commercial development of solar-heated communities across China and the world. 

CanmetENERGY is Canada’s leading research and technology organization in the field of clean energy. With three laboratory research centres located across Canada, CanmetENERGY has the expertise and unique facilities to work on projects with key stakeholders to drive cleaner production and use of energy resources.  CanmetENERGY is recognized worldwide for experience and leadership in the research, development and demonstration of high solar fraction seasonal storage district heating systems, including at the Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta. That residential development achieved the world-first solar performance milestone of 100 percent of its space heating coming from solar-only energy generation. 

Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy was created in 1999 and now has about 6,500 employees. It manufactures solar thermal collectors and solar hot water systems, as well as heat pumps and water filters. The company sees potential for using solar thermal and heat storage to reduce fossil-fuel use in large-scale community district heating systems in China. 

Applying CanmetENERGY’s technological expertise on larger-scale communities in densely populated China could have a significant positive impact on reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Government of Canada recognizes the enormous potential of the Chinese market and is making concerted efforts to show that Canada is open for business and ready to take its trade relationship with China to the next level. Minister Carr is leading a delegation of over 45 representatives from Canadian clean technology, energy and forestry companies, Indigenous organizations and provincial governments on a seven-day mission to China to generate new trade and investment opportunities and to showcase the diversity of Canadian talent, innovation and expertise.


“This deal represents a great scientific and technical collaboration between Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY and China. It demonstrates Canada’s clean energy technology leadership. Some of the very best minds in the world will work together across oceans, languages and cultures toward a large-scale outcome in China that will significantly benefit everyone with its ultimate goal of huge energy savings and emissions reductions.” 

Jim Carr
Minister of Natural Resources

Quick Facts

  • Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy is the largest solar thermal company in the world and the first publicly listed solar thermal company in China.

  • Other Canadian companies and institutions including LEIDOS Canada and the University of Calgary will be involved in this project.

  • The Drake Landing Solar Community in Okotoks, Alberta, is saving an estimated five tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per house, per year.

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Media may contact:  

Laurel Munroe
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada


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