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