With advances in technology, the Hand Hills Wind project is looking at reducing the number of turbines, while at the same time increasing the capacity of the project.
An open house is being held this Thursday to discuss and update the community on the Hand Hills wind power project. BluEarth Renewables has been working on the project for a number of years. At the public meeting on November 29, they will be laying out some of the changes to the project.
According to an email from BluEarth, “wind turbine technology has advanced significantly in terms of size, efficiency, and cost. Our latest project update is being completed to ensure the project remains competitive in the ongoing REP process and other power purchase agreement opportunities.”
Because of advances in technology, the company is able to reduce the number of wind turbines. Originally the company’s application was approved by the AUC to produce 78 MW. With the new technology, they are applying to produce 130 MW.
There will also be changes to the boundaries and the layout of the project, proposed to be built on private lands southeast of the Village of Delia.
The project has been in the works for a number of years. BluEarth purchased the projects in the fall of 2012. At that time it had gone through the process of studies and assessments and had gained approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to operate.
“Since receiving the approval, we have been consulting with stakeholders, meeting with the involved municipalities, and completing technical and environmental studies,” states the company.
In the spring of 2017, the company hosted an open house to discuss amendments to its applications, which they are proceeding with. They are also planning to submit an additional AUC application.
“The Project updates are necessary to ensure we are able to participate in the ongoing Renewable Electricity Program (REP) process, and other power purchase agreement opportunities as they become available.”
According to the company, if it is successful in its application and securing a power purchase agreement, they anticipate construction to begin no earlier than the spring of 2020.
The meeting is this Thursday, November 29 at the Delia and District Community Centre. Those interested can drop in between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.