TC Energy Corp. is entering the solar space in Canada, where it will spend $146 million to build its first utility-scale solar project in the country, the energy infrastructure company said Oct. 4.
Located near Aldersyde, Alberta, the 81-megawatt (MW) project—called Saddlebrook—is expected to generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. Initial work will include installing solar panels on the company’s property in the local industrial park. Construction for the entire project is scheduled for completion in 2023.
“This investment bolsters our ability to deliver low-carbon solutions for our customers and underscores our commitment to add renewable energy to the local electricity grid,” Corey Hessen, executive vice president and president of power and energy solutions for TC Energy.
The move is another step in TC Energy’s ambitions to lower its greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 30% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company’s low-carbon energy efforts have included acquiring more than 400 MW of renewable power via power purchase agreements (PPA) in Alberta in the past 24 months. Among these are 74 MW of solar energy at Claresholm Solar, a joint venture between Capstone Infrastructure Corp. and Denmark-headquartered Obton, and 20 MW of solar energy at Elemental Energy’s East Strathmore Solar.
In addition to solar, TC Energy will gain 297 MW of wind energy from EDP Renewables Canada’s Sharp Hills Wind Farm when it comes online next year. The company is also considering the development of a hydrogen production hub, which would also be located in Alberta.
TC Energy’s first utility-scale solar project in Alberta will help move the province closer to its goal of having 30% of its electricity generated from renewable energy by 2030. It’s aiming for 20% by 2025 and 26% by 2028.
The province plans to add more than 1,000 MW of renewable electricity through the Renewable Electricity Program. The Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is helping fund clean energy projects in the province. About $830 million has been awarded to 230 projects worth $6.6 billion, according to the program’s website. Combined, the projects are expected to lower GHG emissions by 40 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent by 2030.
TC Energy’s project is partially supported by $10 million from ERA, it said.
“This hybrid solar generation facility, which when combined with a flow battery energy storage system, will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta,” the company said.
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