Canada’s largest behind-the-meter solar project


From pv magazine USA

Flexrack by Qcells and Alltrade Industrial Contractors, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, are partnering on the construction of two solar projects in Alberta, both with bifacial solar modules on fixed-tilt trackers.

The 81 MW Scotford project is expected to be the largest behind-the-meter solar project in Canada. Additionally, the 101 MW Saddlebrook project includes the future addition of a flow battery energy storage system, projected to be one of the first of its kind in North America.

The projects are currently under construction and are providing hundreds of local jobs. Both projects are expected to complete construction by the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Saddlebrook project will be owned and operated by an energy infrastructure company, with operations in natural gas, oil and power industries. The project is partially supported by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). Projects range from new solar opportunities in coal-impacted communities to electrification of transportation to energy storage and more.

Once complete, the electricity produced by the Saddlebrook project will feed into the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES) through a new 138 kV substation located on the project land. In total, the project is expected to directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 73,600 tons of carbon dioxide per year, or the equivalent of taking nearly 16,000 cars off the road.

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Alltrade is constructing the Saddlebrook Solar Project in a joint venture partnership with SkyFire Energy, a solar contractor serving Western Canada.

The 81 MW Scotford project is expected to power a global oil producer’s refinery complex, which supports the fossil fuel company in achieving its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The project is expected to contribute approximately $200,000 a year on a levelized basis to the Strathcona County local government and school system.

“We are excited to be able to work alongside our longtime partners at Alltrade in Canada again to both support fossil fuel companies in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions as well as deliver more renewable energy to local communities,” said Ken Mack, head of Flexrack by Qcells.

Flexrack by Qcells offers custom-designed, fixed-tilt ground-mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility-scale solar mounting industries. The company has completed more than 4 GW of solar racking installations in over 40 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and across the globe. One of its notable projects is the 1.3 MW Jimmy Carter Sumpter project in Plains, Georgia.

Alltrade provides EPC services, specializing in ground-mount solar. The company has 1 GW of utility-scale project experience in Canada.

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