Spring Coulee Solar Project
The proposed project is sited on 183 acres of real property north of Alberta Provincial Highway No. 5 on the west half of Section 15, Township 4, Range 24, Meridian 4 (click here for detailed map).
About the Project
The proposed Spring Coulee Solar Project is a 29.5 megawatt (MW) solar facility, located on 183 acres of private land in Cardston County, Alberta, south west of Spring Coulee, immediately adjacent to the Spring Coulee Substation.
The project is estimated to offset 35,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, generating enough electricity to power more than 5,000 Alberta homes.
The total capital cost of the project is expected to exceed $50 million, bringing an important source of direct and indirect economic activity to Cardston County and the communities of Spring Coulee and Cardston.
The project is expected to be completed in one phase with commercial operations commencing in late 2022 and continuing over the next 30 years and beyond.
The project will tie directly into the local FortisAlberta electricity distribution grid, benefitting neighbouring businesses, residences, and farming operations with the use of clean, renewable power during daytime periods.
Spring Coulee Solar Project
Clean, renewable power without subsidies
Solar Krafte focuses solely on power generation in solar rich jurisdictions, where the price for power is not subsidized, delivering power to consumers at the best price, and without emissions or waste.
Through technological advances, and substantial global manufacturing supply increases, the cost to build a commercial scale solar power plant has dropped dramatically over the past few years. What cost us $100 million to build seven years ago, we can build today for $25 million.
The project equipment will have a maximum height of approximately 3.5 metres. The project will only be visible within proximity and will blend in with the horizontal at distances of 100 metres and greater, allowing for minimal visual impact to the surrounding communities.
In addition, the livestock grazing buffer functions as a setback around the entire perimeter of the solar generator, which serves to dampen further the visual impact of the project.
The solar panels are designed to absorb light to convert it into energy, rather than reflect it. This means there will be minimal visual impact caused by glare.
The project would result in temporary noise increases during construction but would not create any substantial permanent increase in the ambient noise levels. We anticipate little to no increase in existing noise levels during the lifetime operation of this project.
Once operational, the only source of noise will be the inverters, which are designed to operate within municipal noise standards. In any event, we locate them centrally in our systems, well away from site boundaries.
Solar Krafte is committed to mitigating any potential negative environmental impacts, and is currently working with Alberta Environment and Parks to assess the impact of this project on local wildlife and vegetation.
The project area consists of cultivated cropland, which we specifically targeted to avoid potential conflicts with wildlife habitat.
Our solar generators produce clean, renewable power without emissions or waste, and therefore help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the production of electricity.
We anticipate limited potential for archaeological and palaeontological resources given that the land use is cultivation. Relatedly, we received Historical Resources Act clearance from Alberta Culture and Tourism which consisted of a review of potential effects to historic resources, such as archaeological resources, historic sites, and Aboriginal traditional use sites.
The construction period is expected to last six to eight months. During this time, there will be an increase in construction traffic. Access to the project will be through existing roads.
We will work closely with Cardston County to ensure dust mitigation measures are in place and impact on local residences is kept to a minimum.
Solar Krafte values the long-term benefits of working with the local community.
Beyond the clean, renewable power our project will produce for the residents of Alberta, without emissions or waste, the significant property tax revenue from this project will help alleviate costs of municipal services or infrastructure.
Other local economic benefits will include construction jobs, long-term operator positions, and significant, local investment into the hospitality and construction services sector.