Natural Resources Canada announced over $160 million in federal investments for nine Alberta-based solar power projects that will generate significant clean solar power and deploy 163 megawatts (MW) of new solar generation and 48 MW of battery storage capacity.
“We are investing over $160 million in job-creating solar energy projects, which will contribute 163 megawatts of new power generation across Alberta. By working with Indigenous partners and industry, the Government of Canada is helping to unlock the economic potential of our clean technologies as we advance toward a prosperous net-zero future,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada.
The following projects were funded to create good jobs, provide clean power and advance economic reconciliation:
- Capstone Infrastructure Corporation and Sawridge First Nation’s Michichi Solar LP and Kneehill Solar LP projects will each deploy a 25-MW solar farm with smart-grid–enabled solar inverters. These projects are supported by an combined $64-million federal investment and are expected to create up to 240 good jobs.
- Concord Green Energy (a Concord Pacific Group Company) and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) partnered to create the Concord Monarch Partnership, Concord Vulcan Partnership and Concord Coaldale Partnership, each of which will deploy 15 MW/34 megawatt hours (MWh) battery energy storage systems on the sites of existing solar arrays in Alberta, supported by a combined federal investment of over $45.8 million, and are expected to create over 100 good jobs.
- Métis Nation Power Authority (MNPA) Inc. will deploy a 4.9-MW solar project in Métis Nation Region 3 in southeastern Alberta, supported by a federal investment of approximately $12.8 million. This is expected to create 24 good jobs, together with training for Indigenous youth.
- Chappice Lake Limited Partnership, alongside Cold Lake First Nations, will deploy 14 MW of solar electricity generation equipment paired with 2.9 MW/8.3 MWh of battery energy storage and artificial intelligence (AI) battery dispatch software, supported by a federal investment of approximately $21 million. This is expected to create over 80 good jobs.
- Enterprise Solar L.P. will deploy a 65-MW solar energy generation project in Vulcan County, Alberta, supported by a federal investment of approximately $12 million. This is expected to create up to 935 total jobs.
- Cardston Spring Coulee Solar Limited Partnership will deploy a 29.5-MW bi-facial solar plant, using single axis trackers, in Cardston County, Alberta, supported by a federal investment of approximately $5.5 million. This is expected to create up to 145 good jobs.
“The funding received for the Michichi and Kneehill Solar farms from NRCan’s SREPs Program was instrumental in accelerating these projects to construction. We’re proud to be delivering emissions-free energy to more than 12,000 Albertan homes, creating jobs in Alberta and generating income for local municipalities and our Indigenous partner for decades to come,” said David Eva, CEO, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation for Michichi and Kneehill Solar LP.
The projects are funded through the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs). Budget 2023’s additional $28 billion of clean electricity investments, which includes $3 billion of additional investments in the SREPs program, will help support even more projects like the ones announced today. Collectively, these efforts will help create hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs and provide more Canadians with clean, reliable and affordable electricity while supporting a cleaner and healthier environment.
“The ACFN is excited about the bright future ahead. Through partnering with Terry Hui and Concord Green Energy (a Concord Pacific Group Company) on the Coaldale, Monarch and Vulcan solar farms and the recent addition of BESS, future generations of ACFN membership will benefit from revenue streams outside of their traditional territory while further diversifying their investments and leading by example on environmental stewardship. We are very proud that Indigenous labour represented over 50 percent of the workforce to construct these solar farms,” said Jason Schulz, director of strategic advisory services, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
“As an Indigenous-controlled solar power company, MNPA is excited to work alongside the government to provide renewable energy in a way that is meaningful and empowering to stewards of the land. We are encouraged that this partnership will promote harmony, legacy and collaboration between Indigenous communities, farming families and Alberta’s ever-evolving energy industry,” said Kurt Vouri, CEO, Métis Nation Power Authority (MNPA) Incorporated.
“Elemental Energy, in partnership with Cold Lake First Nations, is proud to have successfully completed the Chappice Lake Solar and Storage Project with the support of Natural Resources Canada and Emissions Reduction Alberta. This innovative project, combining solar generation and vanadium flow batteries from Invinity Energy Systems, contributes to the goal of decarbonizing and modernizing Alberta’s electricity grid now and for decades to come,” said Jamie Houssian, principal, Elemental Energy.
Featured image: (Natural Resources Canada)