EDF wins Alberta approval for 77.5-MW Vulcan Solar project

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Oct. 25 approved an Aug. 10 application from EDF EN Canada Inc. to construct and operate the 77.5-MW (ac) Vulcan Solar Project.

Said the decision: “After consideration of the record of the proceeding, and for the reasons outlined in this decision, the Commission finds that approval of the project is in the public interest having regard to the social, economic, and other effects of the project, including its effect on the environment.”

EDF filed the application with the commission on behalf of Vulcan Solar Hybrid Energy Centre Limited Partnership. The Vulcan Solar Project will be located approximately 18 kilometers east of Carmangay, 40 kilometers north of Lethbridge and 43 kilometers southeast of Vulcan. Vulcan Solar Hybrid Energy Centre GP Inc. will be the approval holder of the Vulcan Solar Project.

The project will include approximately 297,000 solar photovoltaic panels each with a rating of 370 watts. The photovoltaic panels are connected to inverters to convert the electricity from direct current to alternating current and connected to transformers to step-up the voltage. The transformers and inverters are contained within a common housing. The project also contains a 34.5-kV underground collector system, which connects the panels to the existing Blacksprings Ridge 485S Substation.

Vulcan Solar LP stated it did not expect any additional transmission infrastructure to connect the solar project and it would implement a separate metering scheme. The photovoltaic panels would be installed on single-axis tracking racks to track the sun and will face east in the morning and rotate on a north-south axis toward the west in the evening. The racking would be approximately 1.2 feet above the soil and the top edge of the panels would be approximately 6.8 feet above grade.

The Vulcan Solar Project would be situated within the footprint of the existing Blackspring Ridge Wind Project. The Blackspring Ridge wind farm and substation are owned by affiliates of EDF EN Canada Development and Enbridge.

Vulcan Solar LP proposed to construct the project in two phases. Phase one would consist of approximately 55 MW in 2017 and phase two would consist of 22.5 MW in 2018. Vulcan Solar LP stated its expected in-service date for phase 1 is Dec. 31, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2018 for phase 2.

The commission noted that Vulcan Solar LP submitted an application to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). The commission anticipates a subsequent application regarding the connection of the solar project to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System.

Vulcan Solar expects the Blackspring Ridge wind farm and the solar project to share the same interconnection point and transformer. Vulcan Solar does not expect to require any new transmission infrastructure for the project. Vulcan Solar will implement a separate metering scheme for the solar project at the Blackspring Ridge 485S substation. 

Project contact information is: Vulcan Solar Hybrid Energy Centre Limited Partnership, 53 Jarvis Street, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5C 2H2.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.