Stettler Solar and Storage

News Project information Preliminary Schedule Photos Community Benefits Shared Benefit Residence Fund Project Consultation Q&A Vendors and Suppliers Contact

Stettler Solar Inc. (SSI), a subsidiary of ABO Energy Canada Ltd. (ABO Energy) formerly ABO Wind, is proceeding with the proposed Stettler Solar and Storage Project (the Project), comprised of 25 megawatts (MW) of solar and a 16 MW/55- megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system (BESS). Stettler Solar is capable of producing 36 MWac however the grid limit of the Project is 25 MWac and will only export a maximum of 25 MW at any given time. The option of a BESS component may allow the Project to provide services to the grid, or to store excess energy produced from the solar project, to be discharged at a later time.

The Project is sited on privately-owned land 2 kilometres southeast of the Town limits of Stettler, on the Northwest and Northeast quarters of Section 20, Township 38, Range 19, West of the 4th Meridian. It will connect to an adjacent distribution line as determined through the connection process with ATCO Electric Ltd. (ATCO).

Stettler Solar would provide a cost-effective source of clean energy for approximately 10,000 homes and will contribute to Alberta’s increasing renewable energy generation. The Project would displace approximately 38,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, which amounts to 1 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years.  

Development
Current status
Permitting process
Construction
Operation

News

July 2024: Open House Announcement

Please join SSI

on Wednesday, August 7th any time between 6 pm and 8:30 pm at the Town of Stettler Community Hall located at 5101 46 Ave.

SSI will have discipline experts present to discuss the project and answer your questions. Refreshments will be provided.

July 2024: Newsletter

Please click here to read our latest Newsletter from July 2024.

Additionally, we are hosting an Open House on August 7, 2024 at the Town of Stettler Community Hall. For further information, please refer to the announcement in the newsletter.

July 2023: News Update

We have recently formed the legal entity Stettler Solar Inc. (SSI) a subsidiary 100% owned by ABO Wind AG (ABO Wind Canada's parent company in Germany), which will take ownership of the Project. Going forward, SSI, will be the public facing entity for the Project and will be referenced in this and future documents.

March 2023: Invitation to Open House

Please join ABO Wind Canada to learn about and discuss our 34 megawatt renewable solar and storage project located on private land approximately 2 km southeast of the town limits of Stettler. The Project would provide a cost-effective source of enough clean energy for approximately 10,000 homes.

We look forward to seeing you.

Refreshments will be provided.

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Where: Canalta Hotel, Stettler 6020, 50th Ave
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Download the invitation

December 2022: Launching our Stettler Solar and Storage website

On December 7, 2022 our new website Stettler Solar and Storage went live. We are happy to answer your questions and hear your feedback!

 

Posters from our Open House

Please click on an image to see a larger version. 
You will find a pdf version under Download.

Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Construction Stages
Stettler Solar and Storage Project Construction Stages
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Construction Stages
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Map
Project Map
Stettler Solar Project: Project Benefits
Project Benefits
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Noise and Glare
Noise and Glare
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: The Project at a Glance
The Project at a Glance
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: How does PV Work?
How does PV Work?
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Noise
Noise
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Preliminary Schedule
Preliminary Schedule
What does energy cost?
What does energy cost?
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Visualizations Map
Visualizations Map
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Visualizations
Visualizations
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Visualizations
Visualizations
Stettler Solar and Storage Project: Condition of Land/Soil after the Project
Condition of Land/Soil after the Project
What will be recycled and who will pay for decommissioning?
What will be recycled and who will pay for decommissioning?
 

Project information

The Project will include:

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels – Approximately 72,000 PV panels will be used to convert sunlight into electricity. The nameplate capacity of each photovoltaic panel will be 565Wp and the nameplate capacity of the Project will be 36 MWac. The Project will use bifacial PV modules that are approximately 2 metres long and 1 metre wide. Due to continual innovation and availability of PV modules, the modules and layout are subject to change.

Ground-mounting Systems – The solar panels will be placed on a ground-mounted racking system. The racking will be supported by pile foundations. The Project will also look to utilize a single-axis tracking system. This will allow for the PV panels to follow the sun’s path throughout the day which will maximize power generation.

Inverter/Transformer Stations – The electricity generated from the PV panels will be in the form of direct current (DC). Inverter/Transformer Stations will convert DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity before increasing the voltage in order to connect to the Alberta electricity grid.

Access roads – The Project will be accessed via existing County roads and only pre-determined locations secured with locked gates and fences. The Project may also require upgrades to existing County roads in the area. All road upgrades will result from consultation with the County of Stettler.

Interconnection – ABO Energy will look to connect the Project to the grid via a distribution line that will link directly to the Stettler 796S substation. The substation is owned by the local DFO (Distribution Facility Owner), ATCO Electric. Grid studies are ongoing with the DFO and the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

Energy Storage/Battery – The proposed (16 MW/55MWh) battery will store electricity in periods of excess generation from the solar site and discharge the electricity to the grid during periods of high demand. This allows for shifting the renewable energy generation to times when it is most needed. The inclusion of storage will also allow for more penetration of intermittent renewable resources.

Other Infrastructure – In addition to the components listed above, the Project will also look to include a fence, laydown yard area to store materials and parking, as well as an Operation and Maintenance building to be used for the solar development once operational.

Site Location

The Project Development Area is located between Range Roads 194 and 195 on the Northwest and Northeast quarters of Section 20, Range 19, Township 38 West of the 4 Meridian, which is in close proximity to an existing ATCO Substation (see map). The site was selected based on availability of existing private cultivated land, grid capacity, proximity to substation and suitable access.The Project boundary is 190 acres and the Project footprint (disturbed land) will be approximately 150 acres.

Site Location

 

Visual Simulations

 

Moratorium

The Province of Alberta announced that the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) was to pause approvals for renewable electricity generation from new power plants over one megawatt beginning on August 3, 2023. The moratorium ended on February 29th of this year. Based on the results of the moratorium, layout changes have been made to the project; a small section of photovoltaic panels has been relocated off of Class 2 land, as defined by AGRASID. SSI will comply with AUC’s regulatory updates, and its decision to move forward with Stettler Solar and Storage has not been impacted.

 

Setbacks

There are a number of setbacks that SSI adheres to in order to eliminate or minimize impact to people and environment. These include:

 

Potential Impacts and Environmental Studies

SSI is working with third-party experts to perform the required technical and environmental studies needed to support the Project. The studies include:

Environment

Maskwa Environmental completed comprehensive environmental assessments for the Project. The information gathered from the environmental field program was included in the Renewable Energy Submission Report and submitted to Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (AEPA) in Spring of 2023. AEPA will issue a Renewable Energy Referral Letter that will outline an overall Project risk ranking. SSI is required to commit to construction and operational mitigation stated by AEPA based on the risk assessment.

Once the AEPA Referral Report is issued an application is made to the AUC under Rule 007 – Application – Solar power plants or battery storage facilities, 10 megawatts or greater – urban and rural. SSI expects to submit the application in Q4, 2023. The Public will be informed of the Application submission. Furthermore, Water Act applications will be submitted to AEPA for construction activities in Ephemeral Water Bodies (“Class I”) and Temporary (“Class II”) wetlands. In-lieu wetland replacement fees will be paid to AEPA for any wetland losses; these fees contribute to wetland replacement initiatives throughout in the province. 

Noise

The Project will have sound-generating infrastructure, which include the inverter/transformer stations and the battery storage units. Noise is regulated by the AUC Rule 012. The Project will comply with all regulatory guidelines. The noise contour shown below represents the potential impact from the Project infrastructure, in combination with existing sound from the area. The cumulative sound level produced from the Project and existing facilities is limited to 40dBA (decibels). The noise limit is approximately equivalent to sound produced from light rain or a soft whisper.

Glint and Glare

Glare is regulated by the AUC Rule 007. A solar glare hazard analysis was completed by Green Cat Renewables for the Project, which assessed nearby dwellings within 800m and roads adjacent to the Project boundary. The report indicates that the Project ‘is not likely to have the potential to create hazardous glare conditions for the dwellings or roads.’ The report can be shared with stakeholders upon request.

Glint and Glare

Historical Resources

Historical Resources, including archaeological and paleontological sites, will be considered for the Project. SSI will consult with Alberta Culture and Status of Women in order to obtain clearance for the Project.

 

Download

 

Preliminary Schedule

Timeline Activity
November 2022 Public Notification and Project Information Package 1
Since Spring 2022 Environmental Field Studies
Q2 2023 ABO Energy submission of Renewable Energy Submission Report to AEPA
March 2023 First Open House
Q3 2023 Public Notification and Project Information Package 2
Q1 2024 AEPA provides a Renewable Energy Referral Report to ABO Energy
Q3 2024 AUC Application Submission
Q1 2025 AUC Review and Approval
Q1 2025 MD Permit Review and Approval
Q2 2025 Start of Construction (Earliest Date)
Q2 2026 Commencement of Operation
Schedule is preliminary and is subject to change

Photos

 

 

Examples of solar and storage facilities:

 

Community Benefits

SSI commits to creating a lasting positive impact in the communities where we develop renewable projects. As we learn more about each community, we discover initiatives that would benefit from our contributions. This year we were a proud sponsor of the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede where members of our team were able to attend in person to enjoy the festivities. SSI looks forward to supporting community initiatives for years to come as we grow our relationship throughout the life of the Project. In addition to this local funding the project will generate the following positive benefits:

At ABO Energy, we believe that we are more than just the projects we develop but are a part of the communities where they are developed.

Shared Benefit Residence Fund (SBRF)

SSI will provide the opportunity of financial benefit for those residence owners situated within 400 metres of the Project fence line through the new Shared Benefit Residence Fund (SBRF). Through this opt-in program, qualifying and participating individuals would receive $1000 per year for the duration of the estimated 25 year-project. Those landowners believed to qualify for the SBRF will be contacted directly by SSI.

Project Consultation

The consultation process is guided by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), Rule 007, Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines. ABO Energy commits to forthright and meaningful communication that is timely and respectful. If you have questions about the Regulatory and Consultation Process, you can contact ABO Energy. Alternatively, you can contact the AUC at 403-592-4500, info@auc.ab.ca. or visit their website at www.auc.ab.ca

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions 

We understand that not all interested parties were able to attend the Open House and that some attendees may not have been able to speak to each technical expert. Based on feedback forms and stakeholder input, we have compiled a list of the FAQs. If you have any follow-up questions, please contact SSI directly for additional information.

How will weeds be managed?

SSI is currently working on a weed mitigation plan for the Project. This includes collaboration with the County and adjacent landowners to provide acceptable low-maintenance cover crop options. If herbicides are used, they would be similar to what other farming operations use in the surrounding fields and will be compliant with Provincial regulations. In the limited area where topsoil is stripped, it will be temporarily stockpiled adjacent to the location and then returned. Finalized measures will be captured in the Weed Mitigation Management Plan, which will be incorporated into the Environmental Protection Plan. The plan will be shared with the County and form part of the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) application.

How will the Project be decommissioned and reclaimed? How will it be funded?

The Alberta Government has set out Conservation and Reclamation (C&R) Regulations under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (Alberta Regulation 115/1993). As these regulations can be updated, SSI will follow the most recent regulations at the time of decommissioning. A Conservation and Reclamation plan will be made available to the County and AUC when ready. The plan will outline methods to ensure a successful reclamation process for after the decommissioning of the Project. The intent of the C&R plan is to have the land reclaimed to its previous land use and function. Through the lease agreement with the landowner, a decommissioning fund will be created during the Project’s operation and all applicable costs will be the responsibility of SSI.

What is the impact of solar projects on property values?

After comparing the scope of the proposed Stettler Solar project to similar projects within Alberta, three solar projects were identified that were near country residential developments. Brooks Solar Project, Claresholm Solar Project and Foothills Solar Project, all have country residential development adjacent to the projects. When the adjacent sales were examined, there was no measurable difference in property values, both after the projects were proposed as well as after/during construction near the solar projects. In addition, there has not been an increase in the expected number of listings around solar projects after they are constructed in these areas. These results have been confirmed by other appraisers reviewing potential impacts to adjoining parcels on these projects. A literature review of studies on the impacts of solar projects has also been conducted. While there are no studies within Alberta, there have been studies in Ontario, USA and Europe. Based on a review of these studies it is inconclusive as to whether or not there is a measurable impact to property values adjoining a solar project, especially with consideration of the typical land use and density of development within Alberta compared to Eastern USA and European countries.

What fire and safety measures will be taken?

The Project will have an Emergency Response Plan (ERP), as part of its construction and operation procedures. A draft ERP will be included in the Power Plant Application to the AUC. The plan will detail emergency response procedures to be taken in the rare occurrence of a fire at site, or other emergencies that might occur during construction and operation. The ERP will be continually updated as needed and SSI will follow the ERP upon construction of the Project. SSI has initiated consultation with a number of key entities including external experts and Stettler County emergency services. Feedback will be incorporated into the ERP, with the final document reviewed by County agencies and the AUC.

 

Vendors and Suppliers

If you are a Vendor interested in providing your goods and/or services to ABO Energy Canada Ltd. we ask that you submit your company information via our ‘Supplier Registration Form’ located here: 

Contact

Dave Berrade

Social Impact and Engagement Lead ABO Energy

Dave Berrade

Tel. +1 (587) 576-5339
dave.berrade(at)aboenergy.com
www.stettlersolar.com

News Project information Preliminary Schedule Photos Community Benefits Shared Benefit Residence Fund Project Consultation Q&A Vendors and Suppliers Contact