November 29th, 2021

Three more solar farms totalling more than $100M in construction announced for the region

By Collin Gallant on February 15, 2019.

Photo from www.canadiansolar.com
A solar farm by Canadian Solar is seen in this photo. It was announced Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 that the company will build three new solar farms in southeastern Alberta to meet a power supply contract for the provincial government.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com
@CollinGallant

Three new solar farms will be built in southeastern Alberta to meet a power supply contract for provincial government needs that was awarded on Friday to Canadian Solar, Inc.

That firm is already moving ahead with the $49-million Suffield Solar Farm this spring, and officials at an announcement in Calgary said projects in Hays, Jenner and Tilley will be built in 2020 to meet the contract.

The projects, representing more than $100 million in construction, are designed to produce a total of 94 megawatts in total in peak conditions. They will account for half the needs of provincial facility at a contract price is 4.8-cents per kilowatt hour, which is less than the average market price on provincial grid in 2018.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the contract will save the government $3.9 million per year in operating costs, create 270 jobs in the area during construction.

“These are areas that have suffered due to the drop in oil prices and also natural gas,” she said. “It’s been a roller-coaster in southeast Alberta, and adding jobs in renewable sector is very helpful to making the economy more stable.”

The procurement process this spring garnered interest from 19 firms. The winning bid by Canadian Solar is in partnership with the Conklin Metis Nation.

Company official Ryan Tourigny called the price outstanding for “subsidy-free renewable energy.”

This month Canadian Solar received $14 million in innovation grants from the federal government related to the use of “bifacial” panels at this Suffield project.

Those two-sided panels, which would also be used in 2020 projects, can absorb energy on both sides, say developers, giving them operational benefits especially when the ground is snow covered, both to generate power and melt any accumulation on the panel surface.

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