Westbridge Renewable Energy, a Calgary-based project developer, announced the increase in solar capacity of its Sunnynook solar-plus-storage facility from 236 MW to 330 MW, with the expansion of the project site. The 200 MWh battery component to the system remains unchanged.
The Sunnynook solar expansion was scaled up to help the Alberta government achieve its decarbonization goals. The expansion enables the project to deliver clean energy to 62,000 households, rather than 44,000 households as initially planned.
Sunnynook is currently in Stage 3 of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) interconnection process and will submit an application for construction and operation of the facility by the end of Q1 23 to the Alberta Utility Commission.
Recently the project recently received a referral letter from Alberta Environment and Parks in support of the planned construction.
“The Sunnynook expansion adds significant potential value to this asset as we prepare our application for AUC approval,” said Francesco Paolo Cardi, vice president of development at Westbridge. “Westbridge is committed to originating and acquiring high-quality renewable projects that will meet the demand for utility-scale renewable energy in Alberta.”
With the expansion, Westbridge’s project development pipeline now stands at 1.38 GW of solar generation assets plus 553 MW / 1.1 GW of energy storage systems.
The Georgetown, Sunnynook, Dolcy and Eastervale projects comprise Westbridge’s Canadian portfolio, located in southern and central Alberta, with a total solar capacity of 1.15 GW and 500 MW / 1 GWh of storage. The company expects the four Canadian projects to be shovel-ready by late 2023, 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Accalia Point solar is the company’s lone American project with 221 MW of generating capacity in Cameron County, Texas. Westbridge acquired Accalia, located near South Padre Island and the U.S.-Mexico border, from Aelius Solar in October 2021.
In the U.K., Westbridge has developed a standalone battery storage system with 53 MW / 106 MWh output.
In November, the company received approval from the AUC for construction of the Georgetown Solar and Energy Storage Project in Vulcan County, Alberta. The commission also granted the company a substation permit and license to operate the 1015S substation, which is interconnected to the solar plus storage facility near Mossleigh, Alberta.
On September 30, Westbridge officially rebranded from Westbridge Energy Corporation to Westbridge Renewable Energy in order to better align its strategy with the energy transition. The company currently trades for a $38 million market capitalization.
According to Green Alberta Energy, 10,739 solar projects have been installed to date in the province with an aggregate generation capacity of 2.18 GW. The province ranks third in Canada for solar development, of which the largest regions include Fortis’ Southern Alberta territory (37%), Enmax’s Calgary metropolitan region (25%), and Edmonton, Alberta (22%), where EPCOR is the grid operator.
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