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​The current status of the solar farm

  • We've received all provincial and regulatory approvals.
  • In February 2019, we received regulatory approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) who found this to be a socially and environmentally responsible project that is in the public interest.
  • In August of this year, we also received AUC approval for the addition of a battery energy storage system, which would be connected to the solar farm allowing us to create a smart grid.
  • The project still requires approval from the City of Edmonton to rezone the EPCOR-owned land where the project is located.

Project improvements since 2019

  • We have remained committed to moving this project forward, to reducing our greenhouse gases and contributing towards the City's goal to produce 10 percent of electricity locally, as well as our commitment to do so with green energy.
  • We are continuing our commitment to a positive, open working relationship and dialogue with the Enoch Cree Nation and other Indigenous groups.
  • We have also continued to prepare for the addition of a battery energy storage system, which will allow us to store solar power and convert the solar farm into a smart grid system.
  • We've also made some significant project improvements over the past year, including reducing the solar farm's footprint.

 Building a solar farm at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant (WTP)

  • We are proposing to build a solar farm within our existing fenceline at our E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant (WTP). In doing so, our plan is to create a smart grid, by connecting the solar panels directly to the treatment plant and a battery storage system.
  • Together, these elements create a smart grid, capable of generating and storing renewable power close to where it is used.
  • This project would not be possible if the solar farm was built at any other location.
  • A smart grid will allow us to store energy produced by the solar farm and provide power to the plant during peak periods of electrical demand. This solution will make the E.L. Smith WTP more resilient and better able to serve Edmontonians for years to come.
  • Having this smart grid system in Edmonton will make our city a leader in clean energy generation. It will provide unique research and learning opportunities that would otherwise not be available.

Creating valuable relationships

  • EPCOR re-engaged with Enoch Cree Nation from August 2019 to February 2020.
  • We have had bi-weekly working group discussions between Enoch Cree Nation's consultation team and EPCOR taking place since July 2019.
  • A community open house was held for Enoch Cree Nation members at the River Cree Resort & Casino in December 2019.
  • These discussions have been positive and led to us to agree we should formalize our relationship with a Memorandum of Understanding, which we signed on September 1 with a ceremony at our E.L. Smith WTP site.  
  • EPCOR has committed to continued engagement and to work with Enoch Cree Nation as the proposed project progresses, including on key elements raised by the Nation such as:
    • Bringing appropriate ceremony to the E.L. Smith water treatment plant site,
    • Medicinal plant harvesting by Enoch Cree Nation members for traditional purposes (as part of the MOU),
    • Opportunities for land-based learning by Indigenous youth.

Gathering public feedback and creating partnerships

  • Since early 2017, we have consulted extensively with the community and heard their feedback.
  • We've incorporated the community's feedback and ideas, which have improved the project and made it even more beneficial.
  • We've modified our design plans to address concerns along the way, including:
    • Reducing the project footprint,
    • Expanding habitat and public parkland,
    • Extending and improving the recreational trail network around the solar farm site,
    • And making it a unique interpretive site for trail users, school tours, the research community and Indigenous communities.