The proposed Saamis Solar Park is a utility scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) project located within the city limits of Medicine Hat. The site is bordered to the north by the South Saskatchewan River and to the south by 23rd Street NW.
The site includes a large area of capped phosphogypsum stack, a by-product of fertilizer production. Solar power generation offers a productive use of an area that would otherwise have limited development potential as most development options for the brownfield site would be restricted.
The Project will involve the installation of solar PV panels, fixed tilt and single axis tracker racking systems, invertor/transformer stations, an electrical collection system, internal access roads, and the construction of an electrical substation to connect to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES)
The Project will have a total generation capacity of approximately 325 MWac (megawatt, alternating current) and will generate enough clean energy to offset the annual electricity usage of more than 100,000 households.
DP Energy began development of the project in 2016 and a Development Permit for initial site footprint was granted by the City of Medicine Hat in May 2019. Following the acquisition of additional land interests, a new Development Permit was granted in August 2021 for the current proposed 325 MWac Project.
During the development phase of the project, Stantec Consulting Ltd. (Stantec) have been engaged to undertake a number of key studies including:
- A wildlife and vegetation assessment of the project site including both desktop and multi-year field surveys
- A noise impact assessment based on the method prescribed in AUC Rule 012: Noise Control (March 2021)
- A Glint and Glare Analysis
- A Storm Water Management Plan
In March 2022, Saamis initiated the Participant Involvement Program (“PIP”) for the proposed Saamis Solar Park Project in order to meet Alberta Utilities Commission (“AUC”) regulatory requirements set out in AUC Rule 007, Appendix A1. Scott Land & Lease Ltd conducted the PIP on behalf of Saamis Solar Park between March 2022 and July 2022.
Once formal consultation has been completed, an application to the AUC is anticipated to be filed in the summer of 2022. Pending regulatory approvals, construction activities are expected to begin in 2023 with a goal to be fully operational in 2024.
Timelines are dependent on many factors and may be revised as needed throughout the project.