Feb. 20, 2019
Five new solar energy projects, with potential to create 270 new construction jobs, will be built near Medicine Hat, it was announced in February.
The first announcement came on Feb. 15, when Canadian Solar, in partnership with Conklin Metis Local 193, were awarded a 20-year contract to supply government properties with solar power. The partners will build three solar facilities located near Jenner, Tilley and Hays, approximately 100 kilometres from Medicine Hat.
“We are extremely excited about our partnership with Canadian Solar, world leaders in solar power,” says Shirley Tremblay, president of Conklin Metis Local 193. “This partnership will help diversify our investment portfolio and the financial benefits will support our community in key social and economic initiatives.”
Then, on Feb. 18, innogy, a solar energy company based in Essen, Germany, announced it will build two projects 115 kilometres west of Medicine Hat, near Vauxhall. The projects were developed by Canadian-based Solar Krafte Utilities and the project rights were purchased by innogy in February.
“Our first two projects in Canada are a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver utility-scale solar projects in promising markets, like North America, with high irradiance and a strong commitment to renewable energy,” says Thorsten Blanke, Head of Solar at innogy SE.
Construction of Prairie Sunlight II and Prairie Sunlight III, as the projects are known, is expected to exceed $80 million. Prairie Sunlight II, at 24.5 MW, is located on 160 acres of private land near the town of Vauxhall. Prairie Sunlight III, at 22 MW, in located on 193 aces of Bow River Irrigation District land.
“This is only the beginning,” continues Blanke. “In 2017, we joined forces with Solar Krafte to build up a substantial solar portfolio in Canada. Together, we aim to develop solar projects with a total capacity of up to 1,000 MW peak.”
As Southeast Alberta’s largest service centre, Medicine Hat is well-positioned to serve the renewable energy industry in everything from accommodation to material supply and construction services.
“Medicine Hat is a full service community,” says Jon Sookocheff, director of business development with Invest Medicine Hat. “From hotels to hospitals and everything in between, our community stands ready to serve the growing renewable energy industry.”
There are three additional renewable energy projects underway near Medicine Hat, including Canadian Solar’s Suffield Solar Project, Capital Power’s Whitla Wind Facility, and EDF Renewables and Kainai First Nation’s Cypress Wind Farm.
Construction of innogy’s two solar energy facilities is expected to start in the second quarter of 2019 and come online at the end of the year. Canadian Solar and Conklin Metis Local 193’s three projects are expected to be plugged-in by 2021.