The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), the regulatory body associated with power generation in Alberta, approved the application from 3NE to construct and operate Phase 2 of the Fort Chipewyan Solar Generation Facility and its connection to the ATCO distribution system. The group found that the project was in the public interest and took the social, economic, environmental and other effects into consideration in its decision.
The application for approval included an analysis of the risk to wildlife in the area, the impact on the land, a noise impact assessment, solar glare hazard analysis and the impact on the community. In addition, Transport and NAV Canada were also consulted to ensure the project would not impact the nearby Fort Chipewyan Airport.
Additionally, the application was designated as a community generating unit referencing the community benefit agreement signed by Three Nations Energy. This designation recognizes the autonomy that Three Nations Energy has in the project and the community support the project has received.
This approval is the final hurdle in a series of regulatory hoops that the project needed to jump through in order to get construction off the ground. Phase Two of the solar farm is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2020.