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Monday, Apr 13, 2020

Solar power provides sustainable energy to remote northern Alberta community

Solar Power Generation

Located in northeastern Alberta in the hamlet of Fort Chipewyan, the Three Nations Energy Solar Power Generation Project, owned by three indigenous partners, will reduce the communities’ reliance on diesel fuel, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, the community has experienced a significant increase in demand for electricity, and as a result, there is less fuel storage contingency at the existing ATCO Third Lake Power Plant. This places the community at an increased risk of running out of fuel and needing to fly in diesel during non-frozen conditions. 

Working with ATCO Electric (operations) and Greenplanet Energy Analytics (management), Three Nations Energy retained Associated Environmental Consultants to complete an environmental evaluation and provide regulatory support to develop the project. Associated’s team brought experience with regulatory approvals for renewable energy projects in Alberta, and includes field biologists based in Fort McMurray who have experience working in Fort Chipewyan and with local indigenous community members. 

Solar Power Generation

Led by Project Manager, Ryan Ancelin, our team completed a variety of wildlife and vegetation field surveys within the remote location. Work had to be completed in a limited amount of time to support a tight regulatory submission schedule driven by the need to acquire project approvals for construction during winter 2020.

Ryan tells us, “We have now completed the breeding bird, vegetation surveys, and soil inspections used to complete a Renewable Energy Project report submitted to Alberta Environment and Parks. This information was also used to develop an Environmental Evaluation and Mitigation Measures Report, submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission in support of acquiring the regulatory approval to construct and operate the project.” 

Solar Power Generation

Solar power project will reduce greenhouse gases as well as the number of diesel tankers on the winter road by 25%

Associated also supported the project through the acquisition of public land dispositions and a third-party glare hazard analysis, required due to the proximity of the project to an airport. 

Solar Power Generation

Our team is working closely with the project team, including Greenplanet Energy Analytics, ATCO, and local indigenous community members from the Mikisew Cree First Nation and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

The construction of the solar power generation station will help reduce diesel consumption. When in full operation, 800,000 fewer litres of diesel fuel will be required at the existing diesel power plant each year.

Solar Power Generation

The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

Our key personnel involved on this project are Ryan Ancelin, Joel Gervais, and Stephanie Findlay.