First power flowed to Phase I of Fort Chipewyan new solar farm in the summer of 2019. Phase I was the smaller of the two phase project, but will produce enough energy for about 75 homes each year. The second phase is a 2,200-kilowatt community-owned solar project supported by $3.3 million in provincial and $4.5 million in federal funding. ATCO will build and operate phase two for Three Nations Energy LP (3NE) and install their own 2.5-megawatt battery storage system that will cost an additional $4.9 million.
Kevin Courtoreille, owner of a local company Delta Contracting that was working on Phase I is very enthusiastic about the project: “I think it’s a great idea. I think we all need to step up to the plate and start considering the effects to our environment,” says Courtoreille. “Climate change is taking its toll here,” and, “I think that we need to start considering seriously renewable resources and renewable energy.”
Fort Chipewyan’s power supply has historically come from diesel fuel which is trucked up the winter road. Phase I will displace up to 150,000 litres of fuel each year. Phase 2 of the project is set to begin in Fall of 2019.