Construction has begun on a 182 MW solar project portfolio that will help two fossil fuel companies in Canada reduce greenhouse gas emissions. FLEXRACK by Qcells and Alltrade Industrial Contractors Inc. have partnered on two fixed tilt, bifacial solar panel projects located in Scotford and Aldersyde, Alberta.
Once complete, the 81 MWp Scotford project will be the largest behind-the-meter solar project in Canada. Additionally, the 101 MWp Saddlebrook project includes the future addition of a flow battery energy storage system, which is one of the first of its kind in North America.
The projects have provided hundreds of local jobs and are expected to complete by the fourth quarter of 2023.
“We selected FLEXRACK by Qcells on these two projects due to their exceptional reputation and extensive experience with weather-challenged solar projects in cold climates, including throughout Canada, and the Northeastern U.S.,” said Kevin Ritzmann, senior director at Alltrade, a Canadian renewable EPC and construction services company. “We first partnered with FLEXRACK on several projects in Ontario 12 years ago, and we have always appreciated their ability to not only provide high quality mounting technology but also timely and thorough engineering expertise. We are looking forward to safely and efficiently completing these projects together to help these energy companies decarbonize, all while providing clean, renewable energy and tax revenue for local communities.”
The 101 MW Saddlebrook project will be owned and operated by TC Energy, one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies, with operations in natural gas, oil and power industries. The project is partially supported by $10 million in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), through their BEST Challenge, to support the development of a hybrid solar generation facility combined with a flow battery energy storage system.
Once complete, the electricity produced by the project will feed into the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES) through a new 138 kV substation located on the project lands. Alltrade is constructing the Saddlebrook Solar Project in a joint venture partnership with SkyFire Energy Inc.
The 81 MW Scotford project will power a Shell oil refinery complex to support the company in achieving its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Located in Alberta’s industrial heartland, the project will be the first large-scale solar installation in the region. Once operational, the project is expected to contribute approximately $200,000 a year on a levelized basis to the Strathcona County local government and school system, while requiring little to no county services in return.
“With ambitious provincial and federal renewable energy targets, a favorable regulatory environment, and significant solar resources, we are looking forward to deploying our cold weather expertise and time-tested technology in many more solar projects to come throughout Canada,” said Jay Johnson, head of sales and marketing at FLEXRACK by Qcells.
— Solar Builder magazine