By Collin Gallant
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Capital Power will proceed with another major solar panel farm in southern Alberta, the company announced Dec. 3, days after it received regulatory approval and signed a sales contract for a separate solar project.
The Edmonton-based power generation company completed Whitla Wind farm in late 2019, and has since announced two expansions. Now, it will build solar power facilities in Enchant and a previously announced Strathmore Solar, two projects designed by Calgary-based renewable developer SolarKrafte.
“Capital Power has been following a strategy towards a low-carbon future with a target to be net carbon neutral before 2050,” said CEO Brian Vaasjo at the company’s annual investors day earlier this month. “(Projects give) confirmation of our solar competitiveness, resulting in solar becoming a more prominent part of our portfolio going forward.”
The company announced a 25-year sales agreement for power produced by the Strathmore project, located east of that town, south of the Trans-Canada Highway.
The 40.5-megawatt facility was approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission this week and could be in operation in early 2022.
The larger Enchant project was previously known as Prairie Sunlight 1, and would provide 75 megawatts under peak conditions to the Alberta grid via the Fortis system.
The expected budget for the project located in the M.D. of Taber, on private land north of Enchant, is between $90 million and $100 million.
Its tentative completion timeline is late 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.
Two other “Prairie Sunlight” projects from Solar Krafte were previously sold to German utility Belectric. They are now named Hull and Vauxhall and went into operation last year.
Capital also announced the changeover of two coal plants at Genesee complex to burn natural gas will be complete in 2023.