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Tag: Mike Peters

Aerial map showing proposed site of Sunrise Solar Project near Pincher Creek.

New draft for proposed solar project in MD of Pincher Creek

A revised design for a proposed solar power project northwest of Pincher Creek was front and centre at an open house Jan. 16.

Slightly leaner in size than one presented almost a year ago, the project’s placement of solar panels is the biggest modification.

“We’ve made a number of changes that we think offer advantages relative to our earlier concept,” said Mike Peters, director of public affairs for Evolugen, the company behind the Sunrise Solar Project proposal.

“In spring 2023, we were in the community and held an open house. Subsequent to that, we’ve done a number of follow-up consultations and engagement with the public, with the town and with the MD.”

A visual change in the layout is the most substantive difference, Peters added.

“Within the quarter-section that was closest to town, we’re going to move [those panels] further north,” he said.

“So, that’s going to reduce the proximity to the municipal district boundary. As part of that, we’ve actually ended up reducing the size of the project by 15 per cent.”

 

Text over a glass of beer and bingo cards on ad for Lions TV Bingo at Oldman River Brewing in Lundbreck

 

Peters believes the new concept will help to reduce not only the visual impact but its effect on existing agricultural land in the area.

“We’re really trying to shrink our footprint,” he said.

While there’s no formal plan in place on who might be connected to the power generated from the solar panels, there’s no doubt it’s needed provincially in light of the recent extreme cold snap that saw power consumption result in grid alerts being issued for five consecutive days.

“We see the benefits of this project on so many levels,” Peters told Shootin’ the Breeze.

“We can look at it as an overall contribution to the electrical grid and this idea of bringing on new power generation to meet rising demand, new less carbon-intensive energy. So, we see that contributing to grid stability.”

Other benefits the company feels Sunrise will bring include stable long-term tax revenue to the MD, a rise in the need for local labour during the construction phase and something new to the table — a community benefits fund.

“We’re proposing initially a contribution of $25,000 annually,” Peters said. “That would be something that would be directed towards community priorities, causes, events, as a way to ensure the community is really benefiting from this project.”

If approved, this would be Evolugen’s second undertaking in Alberta. Its first venture, the Spring Coulee project, northeast of Cardston, with a 42-megawatt capacity, could be fully up and running by next month.

 

Display of fall clothing at at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.

 

You're in good hands – animated ad for National Newspaper Week

 

End-of-season dry agricultural field near Pincher Creek, Alberta, with granaries and mountains in the background.

Changes proposed to future solar farm near Pincher Creek

The company behind a large-scale solar project planned for construction northwest of Pincher Creek is looking to make changes to its original proposal and, once again, is looking for public input.

Last spring, Quebec-based Evolugen presented the idea of a four-section solar farm just east of the Pincher Creek Colony and north of Highway 507 during an open house held March 28.

The Sunrise Solar Project, it says, will consist of more than 210,000 bi-facial photovoltaic panels on close to 600 acres of privately owned land. Its aim: to generate enough solar electricity to power the equivalent of about 28,500 homes every year.

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

The original proposal, shown below, would have seen almost all of the project erected to the east of Range Road 303.  It’s had a rethink.

 

Map of area in the MD of Pincher Creek proposed by Evolugen in 2023 to become a solar farm.

 

A new configuration, shown below, plans to reposition the solar structures.

 

Map of area in the MD of Pincher Creek proposed by Evolugen in 2024 to become a solar farm.

 

 

Last year, Evolugen spokesman Mike Peters told Shootin’ the Breeze he anticipated the Sunrise project could generate about $140 million in local spending, the bulk of which would pay for solar panelling and construction costs, and could support two full-time positions post-construction.

According to the latest information on the project’s webpage, evolugen.com/facilities/sunrise-solar-project, noise impact and solar glare assessments have now been completed and it’s entered Stage 3 in the interconnection process with AESO, the Alberta Electric System Operator.

Stage 3 is usually a 32-week process that determines a game plan for filing applications with the Alberta Utilities Commission.

With a new proposal on the table, Evolugen is holding an in-person public open house on Jan. 16, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Heritage Inn, unveiling the new design in detail. Like last year’s session, it’s open to both MD and town residents.

With files from Laurie Tritschler

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.