Solar Krafte to build two utility-scale solar farms in Alberta

Canadian-owned Solar Krafte Utilities Inc., says it will build two utility scale solar farms in Alberta without government power contracts or subsidies.  Company photo.

Solar Krafte solar farms located near Vauxhall

Solar Krafte Utilities Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will build two utility-scale solar farms with a total capacity of 57 megawatts peak (MWp) in Alberta.  These are the first utility-scale solar farms to be built in Canada without government power contracts or subsidies.

The announcement comes following a final investment decision by Solar Krafte’s German utility partner, innogy SE, on Tuesday.

The two large-scale solar farms, Prairie Sunlight II (30 MWp) and Prairie Sunlight III (27 MWp), are located in Southern Alberta, near Vauxhall.

After commissioning, which is planned for the fourth quarter of this year, the solar plants will produce enough green energy to supply 12,500 Alberta homes. According to a press release from Solar Krafte, competing without government subsidies and directly against conventional generation, these solar generators will help reduce Alberta electricity prices.

Jeff Thachuk, CEO of Solar Krafte, said “These solar farms represent the vanguard of the Solar Krafte Prairie Sunlight Alberta buildout, and an exciting milestone for the Canadian energy sector.”

Solar Krafte is the largest developer of solar power plants in Alberta, with 1.3 gigawatts of development currently underway.  This development consists of nine distributed generation projects totalling 282 megawatts and three transmission grid connected projects totalling 1,000 megawatts.

Mark Burgert, president of Solar Krafte, said because southern Alberta boasts Canada’s highest solar resource, “The peak matching production profile of solar generation is the ideal fit for Alberta’s electricity grid.”

“We have plenty of good oil sands cogeneration and other thermal that performs well in winter, but cost effectively matching Alberta’s heavy irrigation and air-conditioning summertime loads is something that solar does exceptionally well.”

According to the press release, innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC, with nearly two gigawatts of completed projects globally, will be responsible for construction, operation and maintenance of the solar farms.

“Our first two projects in Canada are a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver utility-scale solar projects in promising markets, like North America, with high irradiance and a strong commitment to renewable energy,” said Thorsten Blanke, Head of Solar at innogy SE.

“And this is only the beginning. In 2017 we joined forces with Solar Krafte and they are the perfect partner to build up a substantial solar portfolio in Canada. Together, we aim to develop solar projects with a total capacity of up to 1,000 MWp.”

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