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Date set for new solar project approval in southern Alberta

Posted on November 30, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance
Advance supplied image. Sunshine in Dunmore: The Dunmore Solar power facility would see solar arrays erected on portions of six quarter-sections of land east of Medicine Hat near the junction of Highways 41 and 41A, north of the hamlet of Dunmore. The green area represents a planned substation and red the existing AltaLink transmission line.

Southern Alberta Newspapers

A schedule for written hearings to approve a major new solar power project near Hays, west of Medicine Hat, has been released, but with only the M.D. of Taber registered as an intervenor in the process.

Texas-based Proteus Solar applied this summer to build the three-phase solar array, totalling 205-megawatt capacity over 974 acres of land controlled by the Bow River Irrigation District near the Hamlet of Hays.

That filing however, came just days before the Alberta government ordered a seven-month halt to new renewable power approvals until late February as the Alberta Utilities Commission studied its processes for evaluating green power proposals.

This week the AUC issued the schedule for a written hearing that sees developer and interested parties, namely the M.D. of Taber, exchange questions, responses and evidence by certain dates until a final submission is due March 20, 2024.

The AUC has ruled the M.D. of Taber does not technically have “standing” in the process, as it does not own land within a specified distance, but has been granted the ability to take an active role in the hearing. That means however, that Proteus will not be required to reimburse the M.D.’s participation costs.

Dunmore Solar final

The final layout and design for the long-approved Dunmore Solar field, east of Medicine Hat, has been set by the developer who plans to begin construction next spring.

TeraLight gained initial approval for the project in the fall of 2021, and this month the Alberta Utilities Commission received final design and layout plans.

They reduce the number of panels used and the subsequent peak capacity of the plant from 216 megawatts to 173 within the existing footprint of the project.

The $200-million project involves portions of eight quarter-sections but only requires 623 acres of land.

The developer expects site development would begin in March 2024 and construction and commissioning be complete by late March 2025.

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