By Medicine Hat News on September 11, 2019.
A plan to build a 15-megawatt solar facility under agreement with the town of Oyen is going before Alberta Utility Commission regulators for approval.
The “Oyen Community Solar Project” is planned to be built near the town northeast of Medicine Hat with aid of a provincial government program.
In January, the town council agreed to apply for $100,000 in funds from the Generation Capacity Building Grant Program and also entered into a benefit agreement with the community partnership that’s proposing the project – a stipulation of the program brought in by the previous government.
On Tuesday, the AUC announced it will consider approving the project this fall and made a standard call for feedback from the public.
Written submissions on the 31.4-hectare energy facility are due Oct. 10, with notice to participate in a potential hearing being given by Oct. 1.
The privately owned, previously cultivated piece of land sits 2.5 kilometres east of the town and would feed energy onto the Alberta distribution grid.
A date has been set for a hearing into a proposed tripling of the Brooks Solar field. Arguments for and against the potential expansion that sits on the east edge of the city, near the Trans-Canada Highway, will be heard Oct. 16 starting at 10 a.m. at the Heritage Inn in Brooks.
Elemental Energy states that expanding the farm onto two quarter-sections adjacent to its existing 15-megawatt plant is more cost effective and the land is well suited.
Neighbouring land owners were granted intervenor status by the AUC after they complained the new phases would take agricultural land out of production for the 25-year lifespan of the facility and reduce land values on parcels adjacent to the site and near the Trans-Canada Highway.
Their documents are due on Sept. 27.
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