Hanna Solar Project gets $10 million boost

The Town of Hanna and the Special Areas Board, along with project partners ATCO Ltd. and Greengate Power, have successfully attracted $10 million in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) for the proposed Hanna Solar Project.

Developed as a private/public joint venture, the project, a 120MW, $162 million solar generation project is planned to be sited in on previously mined lands near Hanna.

Hanna has a long history working in the Alberta power industry; this project would continue this tradition while positioning Hanna in a leading role as the industry continues to shift towards renewable energy.

The Hanna Solar Project, once constructed, is expected to provide a reliable revenue stream for project partners throughout the life of the project.

This revenue will allow the Town of Hanna and the Special Areas Board to create the Hanna Community Coal Transition Fund, a locally-managed fund designed to directly support local economic development initiatives.

This fund is one of the tools being developed to help local businesses and communities respond to some of the negative impacts resulting from the province’s transition away from coal.

Once operational, the Hanna Community Coal Transition Fund will focus on developing sustainable, longterm and local economic initiatives.

“This funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta is a great starting point for the Hanna Solar Project, and really helps us get it moving,” said Chris Warwick, Mayor for the Town of Hanna.

“While the $10 million investment is significant, this project is going to need more funding and support from the government.

“We are continuing to work with the federal and provincial governments, as well as private enterprise, to find ways to fund the Hanna Solar Project.

“Our work as a coal impacted community will continue as we explore options and create projects like the Hanna Solar Project to help make sure our citizens, businesses and communities are not left behind,” concluded Warwick.

The Town of Hanna and the Special Areas Board, together with Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corp., formed the Hanna Climate Change Strategy Taskforce in 2015.

The taskforce was formed to investigate the impacts of the planned phase-out of coal to this region and to develop some strategic options to address those impacts.

A renewable energy project with a municipal ownership stake has been in development since 2017, primarily to support the creation of the Hanna Community Coal Transition Fund.

The Hanna Solar Project partners are continuing to focus on developing this project, working with the federal and provincial governments to secure green infrastructure and additional grant funding.

In addition to Hanna’s funding, Drumheller will also see Longspur Development’s Solar and Battery Storage project as an electricity project under the same funding structure.

Emissions Reductions Alberta’s (ERA) BEST Challenge, a funding opportunity for biotechnology, electricity and sustainable transportation is awarding $100 million for projects worth a combined value of $600 million.

Projects range from new solar opportunities in coal-impacted communities to electrification of bus fleets to energy storage and bold new uses for hydrogen.

These initiatives are anticipated to account for cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 2.5 million tonnes of CO₂e by 2030, equivalent to the GHG emissions from 530,786 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

These promising projects will create new economic opportunities across Alberta’s electricity, transportation, and biological industries.

This funding support channel was created to help demonstrate and scaleup innovative technologies that can be adopted in communities across Alberta and around the world.

ERA Board Chair Dave Collyer made the announcement with Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for Climate Change, on March 12, 2019, in Edmonton.



About the author

ECA Review