Jan. 15, 2018
EDF Renewables Canada and Kainai First Nation’s Cypress Wind Project will go ahead this year, bringing an additional 201.6 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid by 2021.
It was one of five Southern Alberta wind projects selected in round two of the Government of Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program (REP), an initiative that aims to source 30% of Alberta’s power from wind, solar and hydro by 2030.
The Cypress Wind Project will consist of 48 turbines on 11,400 acres of privately-owned land in the traditional territory of Kainai First Nation, approximately 50 kilometres southeast of Medicine Hat.
“The REP2 Indigenous community participation requirement provided the opportunity to own a renewable energy facility in partnership with a world-class developer,” says Chief Roy Fox of Kainai First Nation. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with EDF Renewables in the Cypress Wind Project.”
At peak construction, the Cypress Wind Project is expected to create more than 250 jobs. Construction is expected to start in 2020, following the approval of all required provincial and municipal permits.
“EDF Renewables is honored to partner with Kainai First Nation and support their tradition of turning innovative economic development strategies into sustainable businesses like the Cypress Wind Project,” says David Warner, development manager for EDF Renewables Canada. “In the past year, the Cypress Wind Project team engaged with community members, local government officials and local businesses to make sure that the final design was socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.”
At the same time, construction on the 300 megawatt Whitla Wind Facility, 40 km from Medicine Hat, is well underway. This $325 million investment by Capital Power is expected to generate up to 200 construction jobs and up to 10 full-time operational jobs.
As Southeast Alberta’s largest service centre, Medicine Hat stands to serve the renewable energy industry in everything from accommodation to material supply and construction services.
“This is big news for the region,” says Jon Sookocheff, director of business development for Invest Medicine Hat. “It’s the beginning of a new industry in Southeast Alberta.”
Currently, the Cypress Wind Project is in the public engagement and environmental field studies stage. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2020 with operations anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2021.