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​Project overview

We plan 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 51-acre area that is owned by EPCOR and located just below the Anthony Henday / Cameron Heights turn-off, at 3900 E.L. Smith Road.

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.

Did you know?

Edmonton is noted as one of the top major cities in Canada for solar energy capture, and annual photovoltaic potential. Due to the amount of sunlight in Alberta, solar power efficiency and output is much higher than in other geographical locations in Canada. EPCOR will be optimizing the design of the solar farm in order to produce the most energy possible during the spring, summer and fall months, in order to best align with water demand at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.



Project map

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New fencing and artist renderings
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Funding for the solar
farm project

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  Project map


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  New fencing

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 the map.

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 project map.

Artist renderings

Looking west from recreational trail (located east of project site, across river)
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Looking northeast from recreational trail (located southwest of project site)
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Looking northeast from Anthony Henday (located southwest of project site)
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  Funding for the Solar Farm project

The cost of the Solar Farm project will be covered through a special rate adjustment on Edmonton customer's water bills and began in April 2017. The total combined charge for both environmental initiatives amounts to between 10 and 15 cents per month on an average residential water bill and began in April 2017.

The solar farm has received financial support of approximately $10.7 million from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to help enhance the solar farm into a complete micro-grid system by including a battery energy storage system (BESS).  This support covers the costs associated with the BESS addition.

 

  Proposed design

Learn about the solar farm's design.
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