We are proposing to build a new solar farm on our property just south of the existing E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant. The project site is a 55-acre area that is owned by EPCOR and located just below the Anthony Henday / Cameron Heights turn-off, at 3900 E.L. Smith Road.
approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and the City of Edmonton, the solar farm will have a peak generation capacity of approximately 12 megawatts (MW). If the solar farm produces more energy than the water treatment plant can use, any excess will be exported back to the electrical grid. The proposed project will involve:
- Installing approximately 45,000 solar panels on our property south of the water treatment plant
- Connecting the panels to the water treatment plant and electrical grid
- Removing select trees on the property to accommodate the solar panels
- Building a new fence to enclose the solar farm
All of the proposed work will take place within EPCOR's property. Access to the City of Edmonton's recreational trails and green space located around the project site will not be interrupted.
Click on the map for a larger view.
The new solar farm will be entirely surrounded by an 8 foot (approximately 2.4 meter) high fence, topped with barbed wire for public safety and site security. The new sections will match the fence currently surrounding the water treatment plant. We are planning to:
- Upgrade a section of existing fence
- Install a new section of fence
- Connect to the existing fence
The location of these changes are shown on
Based on public feedback and the results of our environmental field surveys, we evaluated our plans and have reduced the overall project footprint in an effort to address concerns relating to aesthetics, land reclamation, environment and wildlife. At the narrowest point, the fence line will be set back at least 100 metres (previously 30 metres) from the river. The new boundary and fence line are shown on the project map in dark blue and, after the new fence is constructed, will increase the amount of natural area along the river than is currently present.
Assessing environmental impacts
At EPCOR, the environment will always be a top priority. For our Facilities Application, we contracted a third-party consultant who has completed a number of environmental assessments in order to survey the potential impact of the project on wildlife, wetlands, soils, vegetation and historical resources. Together, these surveys constitute an "Environmental Impact Assessment", or EIA, and were included in the Facilities Application we submitted to the AUC for approval earlier this year. The AUC is currently reviewing our application through a public process to determine whether the project is in the public interest. As part of this process, our environmental evaluation is available for public review. For more information on the AUC process and how you can participate, check out our regulatory process page.
The studies conducted to date show that the potential impacts associated with project activities can be mitigated using a combination of standard and project-specific environmental protection measures. We are committed to minimizing the impact of our activities on the environment and, where possible, we will follow recommendations in order to ensure no significant lasting environmental impacts result from project activities.