Sun­cor’s Hand Hills Wind Project checks in with com­mu­nity

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

In as many weeks, a third al­ter­na­tive en­ergy project in the area is seek­ing public in­put.

Sun­cor is host­ing an open house this Thurs­day to dis­cuss the pro­posed Hand Hills Wind Power Project in Star­land County and Spe­cial Ar­eas No.2.

“This open house is re­ally a check in with the com­mu­nity,” said Ni­cole Fisher, spokesper­son for Sun­cor. “We want to re­con­nect be­cause it has been a lit­tle while.”

She ex­plains Sun­cor has al­ready ap­plied to the Al­berta Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion (AUC) and has re­ceived ap­proval.

“This is one we have been work­ing on for a lit­tle while .In De­cem­ber of 2014, we ac­tu­ally re­ceived the ap­proval for the 80-megawatt project. We are just com­ing back to it.” tric­ity to the grid by 2030. On Novem­ber 3, they gave us some ad­di­tional de­tails. So, we are mov­ing for­ward with a num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions al­ready in the sys­tem. This one was the fur­thest along, so we are mov­ing for­ward with this de­vel­op­ment of the Hand Hills Project to be able to com­pete in this process.”

She ex­plains the Al­berta Gov­ern­ment’s cri­te­ria for projects, in­clude they are to be 5 megawatts or more and the de­vel­op­ment to be op­er­a­tional by 2019 to align with the end of the first coal units. They want it to be tech­nol­ogy neu­tral and are look­ing at 20-year con­tracts. Th­ese are to make use of ex­ist­ing trans­mis­sion or distri­bu­tion lines or ex­pand new ones.

“They ex­pect to start mak­ing the se­lec­tion on which projects will be mov­ing for­ward by the end of 2017,” said Fisher. “We are work­ing with the frame­work they an­nounced. We are re­ally ex­cited about this pro­gram and we have a few projects in and ready to go.”

Com­mu­nity open houses are re­ally im­por­tant to us, we want to touch base with each of the com­mu­ni­ties where we have th­ese pro­pos­als and Hand Hills is a lit­tle bit in­ter­est­ing be­cause it is in the sys­tem and has al­ready been ap­proved.”

The open house is slated from 5 -8 p.m. on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 24 at the Delia and District Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

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