Approval received for $500M, 400-MW southern Alberta solar power project

  • Approval received for $500M, 400-MW southern Alberta solar power project

Approval received for $500M, 400-MW southern Alberta solar power project

The largest solar energy project in Canada has received provincial approval and the company hopes to start construction in southern Alberta next year.

This chart shows some of the largest, existing solar-energy projects operating in Canada.

Greengate, with headquarters in Calgary, has invested more than $1 billion and has developed close to 600 MW of operating or near-operating wind projects in Alberta and Ontario since 2007. Greengate now has a little under 600 megawatts (MW) of wind energy projects; this project is for 400 MW.

"There will be several hundred jobs created during the construction of the project, which will take place over two years, about a dozen or so permanent jobs to operate the project", he said of the employment impact.

According to the Natural Resources Canada website, most of the solar capacity in Canada is located in Ontario.

Developers see the province as a region ripe for growth, despite the oil and gas that's always been integral to its economy.

When complete, company CEO Dan Balaban said the facility will have 1.5 million solar panels and will provide enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. Comparatively, the solar industry is still getting off the ground.

"We've been developing renewable energy in Alberta for more than 12 years". "But solar has reached the tipping point where I believe [it] is the most cost-competitive renewable in Alberta".

"We're selling the project into the Alberta power pool and we'll be realizing whatever pricing there is at the time". In 2010, across all of Canada, only 123 MW of solar power was generated.

The approval comes on the heels of an uncertain period in Canada's renewables market.

After coming into office, the government swiftly cancelled the fourth round of the province's renewables auction, which had been set for mid-2019.

The Travers Solar project on Tuesday was approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission. "And I think it's really put the wind in our sails as we're in the final stages of finalizing this project".