Canada’s biggest solar farm, the 400-MW, 1,900-hectare Travers Solar Energy Project in Alberta, has received a C$500-million cash infusion from Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that will allow Calgary-based Greengate Power to start construction at the site near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County.
The project will feature 1.5 million panels set amid grazing land, create 500 full-time jobs while it’s under construction, and supply enough electricity to power 100,000 average homes after it goes into service in 2021, the Calgary Herald reports.
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The next-largest solar farm in Canada, with 100 MW capacity, is in Ontario.
“This show of confidence is great news for Albertans…It really speaks to the quality of the Alberta renewable energy resource,” said Greengate CEO Dan Balaban. “Over the last decade, the cost of solar energy went down by 90%, making it competitive with natural gas.”
The project is “part of a veritable solar energy rush in Alberta that includes the construction by Ireland-based DP Energy of a 25-MW project on 63 hectares of land in Calgary’s Shepherd Industrial Park,” the Herald writes. “Meanwhile, Ontario-based Canadian Solar Solutions has acquired a 20-year contract to supply electricity to government facilities, with the building of three solar farms located near the communities of Jenner, Hays, and Tilley in southeastern Alberta, which will create 100 MW of capacity.” Yet another $200-million project now under construction by Calgary-based Perimeter Solar, about 125 kilometres south of Calgary, will add 130 MW.
“Together, these proposed or soon-to-be-completed solar projects could produce 4,000 MW of [electricity]—though it’s not likely that all of them will be built,” the Herald adds.
BC Hydro says the average home uses 11,000kWh annually or 11MW. The 400MW solar plant in Alberta will earn about 1000 hours full power equivalent or 400,000 MWh/11MW/home=36,363 homes. A long ways from the claimed 100,000 homes.