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 52-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 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 either be stored in our proposed battery energy storage system (BESS) or exported back to the electrical grid. The proposed project will involve:
- Installing up to 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. On the southeast side of the proposed development we've incorporated greater setback distances from the North Saskatchewan River and on the south side, greater setback distances from our property line. The areas will be revegetated with native trees and shrubs resulting in a net gain of vegetated area from the development while also providing additional cover for wildlife. The new boundary and fence line are shown on the
Assessing environmental impacts
At EPCOR, the environment will always be a top priority. For our Facility 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 Facility Application we submitted to the AUC for approval in early 2018. The AUC reviewed our application through a public process and determined that "the project is in the public interest having regard to the social, economic, and other effects of the project, including its effect on the environment." As part of this process, our environmental evaluation is available for public review, and will also be available through the City of Edmonton public hearing process.
The environmental studies conducted to date show that the potential effects 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.