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
The environment is important to us. We have contracted a third-party consultant to conduct a number of environmental surveys to assess the impact of the project on wildlife, wetlands, soils, vegetation and historical resources. Some of these studies will continue into 2018.
The studies conducted to date show that the potential adverse effects associated with project activities can be mitigated using a combination of standard and project-specific environmental protection measures. EPCOR is committed to minimizing the impact of our activities on the environment and, where possible, will follow the recommended mitigation measures to ensure no significant lasting environmental impacts result from project activities.
The results of these studies, as well as the feedback that we receive from the public, will be included in our Facilities Application that we submit to the AUC for approval to construct and operate the solar farm. The AUC will review our application in a public process, and determine whether the project is in the public interest. Our environmental evaluation will be available for public review as part of this process. For more information about the AUC process and how you can participate, check out our regulatory process page.