Alberta approves Canada’s largest PV project – free of subsidy and planned on a merchant basis


The utilities commission of the Canadian province of Alberta has given the green light for the nation’s biggest solar project.

The $500 million (US$376 million), 400 MW Travers solar facility being developed by Greengate Power Corp in Vulcan County is slated for commercial operation in 2021 and will operate subsidy-free and sell power on a merchant basis.

A spokesman for the Brookline PR company used by Greengate told pv magazine: “There is no guaranteed power supply deal, PPA [power purchase agreement], or public subsidy associated with the recently announced Travers Solar project. Greengate Power plans to finance the Travers Solar project on a merchant basis driven by Alberta’s phase out of all coal-fired electricity by 2030, carbon pricing framework and the need for significant new investment in power generation as a result.”

Calgary-based Greengate announced the development yesterday and said construction would begin on the PV project next year.

“We are very pleased to have received approval for what we expect will be Canada’s largest solar energy project and one of the largest in the world,” said Dan Balaban, president and CEO of Greengate. “This continues our successful track record, having already developed some of the largest renewable energy projects in the country. We anticipate that Travers Solar will bring significant investment, employment and clean renewable energy to Alberta while strengthening the province’s position as a global energy and environmental leader.”

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Greengate said the project would form a key plank of the province’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction program, which is due to come into force on January 1. The ‘TIER’ regime will see big polluters acquire emissions credits from facilities such as the Travers project.

The company says it has developed almost 600 MW of wind power capacity in Alberta and Ontario and has a solar and wind development pipeline of almost 1 GW.

This article was amended on 29/08/19 to reflect the project will be subsidy free and operate on a merchant basis.

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