Suncor’s Hand Hills Wind Project checks in with community
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.