French energy company EDF EN Canada is a market leader with over 1,600 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar energy under development in Canada. With renewable energy projects in 21 countries, the majority of their Canadian projects are in Ontario with one Alberta project, Blackspring Ridge, just outside of Calgary.
Shortly after the Government of Alberta opened its bid for 400 MW of renewable energy, EDF EN held open houses in Seven Persons and Dunmore April 26 and 27 to present proposals for their Red Rock and Cypress wind projects.
If approved, construction on the projects would begin in 2018, bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the region.
“Should these projects be approved, Medicine Hat’s workforce will be in an excellent position to assist with construction, not to mention long-term operations and maintenance” said Invest Medicine Hat CEO Ryan Jackson.
Once the 120-250 turbines are spinning, the Red Rock and Cypress projects would have the capacity to put 500 MW of energy onto the power grid through AltaLink’s 240 kilovolt transmission line.
“The geography and the proximity to Medicine Hat makes the area for this project that much more attractive,” said David Warner, EDF EN lead project developer.
Situated between the Canadian Rockies and Cypress Hills, Medicine Hat has some of the best wind resources in Canada. The wind moves between the mountains and hills at just the right speed with steady gusts that keep turbines spinning.
“Medicine Hat has the infrastructure, short and long-term workforce as well as the suppliers that you wouldn’t find in a more remote area,” said Warner, echoing Jackson’s comments regarding local workforce and noting the proximity of an established hospitality and service sector.
During construction, Red Rock and Cypress have the combined potential to employ 500 people, including millwrights, electricians, surveyors, civil engineers and maintenance workers.
Once in operation, EDF EN expects 10-20 long-term positions will be required to maintain and repair turbines.