Mountain View County solar farm proposal. (Contributed photo)

Mountain View County considering solar power project

SunAlta Power project would be built at gravel pit near Sundre

Mountain View County continues to explore the potential for a solar project at a gravel pit near Sundre.

Council recently authorized administration to enter into a design agreement with SunAlta Power to continue work developing a solar power project at McDougal Gravel Pit south of Highway 584, just west of Sundre.

“The design agreement gives SunAlta further ability to enter the lands and undertake studies necessary for the proposed solar photovoltaic system,” says the county in a news release. “In addition, the design agreement also allows Sun Alta to pursue further partnerships required to support the feasibility of the project.

SunAlta proceeds with its review of the 40-acre portion of the site being considered for the solar project, a public engagement campaign with area residents will be undertaken to determine what the community amenities people would like to see on the remaining 40 acres.

This input will be used for the development of a comprehensive concept plan for the lands. The county expects to go to the community for feedback in early 2022.

Gravel extraction is almost complete on the 40 acres being considered for the solar power project but there is still about five year’s supply left in the gravel pit.

Whether the solar project goes ahead will depend upon lining up the necessary county development approvals.

Also in 2019, the County applied for, and was awarded, a $70,000 Community Generation Capacity Building Program grant administered through Energy Efficiency Alberta and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. This covered the cost of updating the 2017 report and completing the 2019 interconnectivity report and financial assessment.

Last November 2020, county council authorized administration to enter into a memorandum of understanding with SunAlta Power.