A new 25.4-megawatt solar farm, located just outside Innisfail, was completed this month. The project is a merchant solar farm, the first of its kind in Alberta. (Photo courtesy of GP Joule)

A new 25.4-megawatt solar farm, located just outside Innisfail, was completed this month. The project is a merchant solar farm, the first of its kind in Alberta. (Photo courtesy of GP Joule)

Construction finished on 25-megawatt solar farm in Innisfail

Work has finished on a solar farm in Innisfail.

Renewable energy company GP Joule says the 25.43 megawatt Innisfail project is the first so-called merchant solar facility completed in Alberta. It is located on Highway 54, just north of the Innisfail Golf Course.

The electricity generated will be traded daily within the Alberta energy portfolio. Traditionally, solar power is sold under a power purchase agreement between a government agency and a utility company.

“Turning a vision like Innisfail Solar into reality depends on strong leadership and co-operation, which our solar team experienced with Elemental Energy,” said David Pichard, CEO of GP Joule of North America.

Elemental Energy Inc. is a B.C.-based renewable energy developer and investor, which owns the utility-scale project.

“We thank the community of Innisfail for its welcome and collaboration in the construction of this utility-scale solar installation, even as everyone incorporated extensive guidelines that safeguarded us against COVID-19,” said Pichard.

The project, which was started in October 2019, handed out more than 100 local construction jobs.

The facility will reportedly benefit the town of Innisfail through long-term lease property taxes, and a community development fund.

The total of these contributions will be approximately $190,000 annually, $20,000 of which will be an annual contribution to a community development fund used to support community groups.