By Justin Seward
A large Enbridge Alberta Solar One farm west of Burdett is now soaking up the province’s sunshine and powering a portion of the Canadian Mainline pipeline operations.
The 36,000 panel, 10.5-megawatt solar farm will supply the equivalent to energy needs of about 3,000 homes and offsetting around 12,000 tonnes of carbon on an annual basis.
“This project is a win-win for Enbridge’s power team as we continue to grow our renewable energy portfolio and support Enbridge’s sustainability goals. We’re excited to see our first Canadian self-power project come online, and we will continue to invest in opportunities across North America that generate energy to power our operations,” said Matthew Akman, Enbridge’s senior vice president of strategy and power.
The project will fit into Enbridge’s larger growth plans in effort to reduce emission intensity.
“These types of projects fit into our larger growth plans to reduce emission intensity by 35 per cent and be net neutral by 2050. To help get there, we’re using solar self-power to generate electricity for our operations, modernizing our systems to improve efficiency and advancing other technologies,” said Vern Yu, executive vice president and president of Liquids Pipelines Enbridge.
Construction began in September 2020 and was officially put into operation on March 24.
Alberta Solar One was co-developed by Enbridge and Morgan Solar, a solar company based out of Toronto.
The project not only helped with Enbridge’s green initiative but assisted in commercializing Morgan Solar’s SimbaX technology.
SimbaX is an optical film that when applied to a standard PV solar panel, it concentrates light to boost the panel’s energy production.
Enbridge’s facility is the first utility scale application of this technology.
There will be 50 grazing sheep arriving later this spring to manage the grass growth on site.