A new off-grid system is capable of generating 75 kilowatts and storing 250 kilowatts hours of energy. Now that’s impressive!
Last week, ATCO announced their groundbreaking solar project in Western Canada. The Grande Prairie POD Transmission at the Saddle Hills Telecommunications Site is needed to meet increased power demand in the area.
“Through this project, we have gained valuable insight into the application of off-grid solar solutions, directly transferable and scalable for our customers in other sectors,” said Paul Goguen, Senior Vice President & General Manager, ATCO Electric Transmission Division.
“This is just one example of how ATCO is finding opportunities to economically reduce our carbon footprint while exploring innovative clean energy solutions for our customers.”
This is great news, but why didn’t it happen any sooner if ATCO is seriously trying to cut down on their carbon footprint?
Propane thermal electric generators previously powered the site where the system is being built. As the generators neared the end of their life cycles and the need for power at the location grew, ATCO had a vision for a cleaner and less expensive way to keep the site up and running – solar energy.capstone project,
They didn’t make the transition alone though, to make sure that the switch was technically viable and cost-effective, they joined forces with the Alternative Energy Capstone Project and outlined the technical challenges of building and maintaining solar panels in a remote location (e.g. cooler climate, fewer hours of daylight etc.)
The project is one of many that ATCO is undertaking; a full list can be viewed here. The timeline for the scheme so far is as follows:
- November 2015: Notification to landholders, agencies, and other interested parties
- April 2016: Submit facilities application to the AUC
- July 2017: If AUC approves the facilities application – construction begins
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