PACE Canada Solar project presents plans at Hanna council meeting

ECA Review/J. Webster
Written by ECA Review

In an informative session held on Wed. July 26, Claude Mindorff, representing the PACE Canada Solar Project, addressed Hanna council, emphasizing the importance of engaging with the community and seeking their input.

“Our thinking and strategy has always been to consult early and to consult often,” Mindorff said, recognizing the significance of listening to various perspectives and opinions.

Mindorff expressed sincere dedication to the community and emphasized that the project would not proceed until issues like glint and glare were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. He said the safety issues due to glint and glare are legitimate concerns.

“We will not be making an AUC application until issues like glint and glare are resolved as close as we can to everyone’s satisfaction,” said Mindorff.

Coun. Kyle Olsen expressed that he is not against solar projects; however, it is the location that he has issues with. Due to the location being close to the airport, the glint and glare could impact pilots and air ambulances, which he does not want to lose.

Mindorff explained that PACE Canada Solar has been in contact with Alberta Health Services and will continue to communicate with them; however, at this moment, Alberta Health Services does not have an answer.

Explaining the unique billboard design used in the solar project, Mindorff highlighted its benefits, such as reducing glare to almost zero, making it suitable for row cropping and minimizing the impact on the airport.

Using a billboard design allows farmers to continue to farm the land using row farming, reducing the glare to almost zero. We feel that there is a developable project here which can be done without the impact of glint and glare to anyone using the airport,” said Mindorff.

The meeting also addressed concerns about decommissioning. Mindorff explained that the project had a 20-year extension and a decommissioning clause in the lease which could make the project a 50-year project instead of 30 years. Funds were set aside to cover potential decommissioning expenses.

Regarding potential impacts on property values, Mindorff stated that the available data suggested minimal effects.

In conclusion, Mindorff emphasized the project’s goal of being a viable and beneficial investment.

Council has not yet taken an official position on the project, and discussions will continue as community feedback and additional information are considered.

Jessica Campbell
ECA Review

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