Minister Wilkinson Announces Over $160 Million for 9 Alberta Solar Energy Projects That Will Create Hundreds of Good Jobs
DRUMHELLER, AB, July 11, 2023 /CNW/ – Across the country, thousands of jobs are being created as the Government of Canada delivers major clean energy projects in partnership with Indigenous communities, workers and industry. Alberta’s immense potential for solar power generation, combined with the expertise of workers and the ambitious planning of Indigenous and community partners, is powering a surge in clean energy development in the region.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced over $160 million in federal investments for nine Alberta-based solar power projects that will create hundreds of jobs, generate significant clean solar power and deploy 163 megawatts (MW) of new solar generation and 48 MW of battery storage capacity. Taken together, these projects will not only enable local economic growth and deliver clean, affordable energy to communities but also reduce emissions equivalent to taking nearly 47,000 gas cars off the road every year.
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.
These job-creating 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 Government of Canada is committed to developing a net-zero electricity system by 2035 and will continue to work with partners to advance economic reconciliation and climate action while creating good jobs and delivering reliable clean power on the road to a sustainable and prosperous net-zero future.
“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.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources Canada
“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.”
CEO, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation for Michichi and Kneehill Solar LP
“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.”
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.”
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.”‘
Principal, Elemental Energy
- The nine projects funded today will deploy 163 MW of new solar generation and 48 MW of battery storage capacity. This will reduce emissions by over 150,000 tonnes CO2e per year while creating over 3,000 job years.
- The Canada Energy Regulator’s Canada’s Energy Future 2023: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2050 report found that in a world where Canada and the world achieve net-zero by 2050, renewable energy would make up two-thirds of power generation in Alberta by that time — up from about 15 percent in 2022. It also found that solar would provide up to 20 percent of all generation in Alberta, while wind would reach 46 percent.
- Minister Wilkinson joined Capstone Infrastructure Corporation for the ribbon-cutting of Michichi Solar LP and Kneehill Solar LP projects, which are now operational and generating revenue for local communities.
- The projects announced today are federally funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs), a $1.56-billion program that supports smart renewable energy and electrical grid modernization projects, including projects that support capacity building — which received an additional $3 billion in Budget 2023.
- Budget 2023 includes $40 billion of historic investments in the grid, which will be delivered in three ways:
- A 15 percent refundable tax credit for non-emitting electricity generation, electricity generation from abated natural gas, stationary electricity storage systems including batteries, and equipment for the transmission of electricity between provinces and territories.
- $20 billion in low-cost financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank; and
- Targeted electricity programs, where needed, to ensure critical clean electricity projects continue to get built.
- Budget 2023 also includes $3 billion over 13 years for Natural Resources Canada for SREPs to renew the Smart Grid program and to support Canadian offshore wind power.
- The recapitalization of SREPs, which is in addition to the current $1.56-billion budget, will continue to support clean energy projects and critical regional priorities, as well as expand program eligibility to include transmission projects.
- Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power.
- Canada Invests $18.5 Million in Cowessess First Nation Awasis Solar Project
- Minister Wilkinson Delivers Nearly $3.4 Million for Solar in Strathmore, Alberta
- Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
- Budget 2023
- Sustainable Jobs Plan
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
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