VILNA – An approximately 42-megawatt (MW) solar power project by Obton Solar Canada is being proposed near Vilna.
Those spearheading the project are inviting members of the public to an open house on Nov. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Vilna & District Ag Society Cultural Center’s meeting room.
According to information from Obton, the project will be located west of the Village of Vilna and north of Highway 28, on a privately owned greenfield site. The company will be following the rules set by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) while they plan the solar project.
Before the project can start, the company is waiting for the government and the AUC to make official announcements about things like how this project will affect farming, the viewscapes, “and reclamation security,” according to the project website.
They also hope to talk to the local community about the project.
Information from the project’s website claims that the Vilna Solar project, with 42 MW capacity, can power over “10,000 Canadian homes,” and it will also annually produce 75,000 megawatt hour (MWh) of clean energy, reducing 40,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Development and the construction of the project “will create job opportunities, generate tax revenues, and stimulate the local economy,” according to Obton.
Assessment and studies of the project began in the third quarter of 2023 and will continue throughout the end of the year.
The project is submitting a Power Plant Application to the Alberta Utility Commission and will seek Interconnection Approval - the process of connecting a power plant to Alberta Interconnected Electric System - in the first quarter of 2024. Alberta Interconnected Electric System Approval and planning from the AUC, municipal permits, is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2024.
If the approval process is successful, construction of the project is expected to begin in early 2025 and will be operational at the end of 2025.