One of Canada’s largest proposed solar projects finishes environmental study


Georgetown Solar, a subsidiary of Canadian renewable energy developer Westbridge Energy Corp., has completed its environmental and wildlife field study programs for one of the largest solar installations ever proposed in Canada: the 230 MW  Georgetown Solar Project.

The project is set to be constructed on 710 acres of privately owned cultivated farmland southeast of Calgary. Development began in early 2020, while construction is anticipated to begin in August 2022.

Construction of the project is expected to create up to 360 jobs, most of which Westbridge said will be for local Alberta workers.

If seen through to commercial operation, Georgetown would become one of Canada’s largest solar projects, joining the planned 400 MW Travers Solar project, also set to be constructed in Alberta.

While Canada is a relatively nascent solar market compared to the United States, the country’s commitment to solar has grown recently, and Canada ended 2020 with a total solar capacity of roughly 3,000 MW, with 70 MW installed in 2020.

That number is expected to grow pretty significantly, however, as the Canadian Renewable Energy Association expects close to 2 GW of wind and solar projects to begin construction or complete installation before the end of the year. The country is also seeing a rise in geographic diversity of projects; early Canadian installations were mostly contained to Ontario.

A June 2021 report from Clean Energy Canada and Navius Research, The New Reality, forecasts that by 2030 clean energy jobs in Canada will grow almost 50% to nearly 640,000 under the federal government’s new climate plan. Canada’s clean energy sector currently employs around 430,500.

Alberta is forecast to see 71,700 jobs in its clean energy sector by 2030, a 164% increase over 2020 and the greatest increase of any Canadian province.

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