Suncor Energy Forty Mile Solar Power Project
Aerial view of solar facility
Suncor Energy Forty Mile Solar Power Project
Forty Mile Granlea Wind GP Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncor Energy Inc., is evaluating the opportunity to develop the Forty Mile Solar Power Project, an expansion of the Forty Mile Wind Power Project that restarted construction in April 2021 and is scheduled to be operational by late 2022.
Solar power is complementary to wind power for a few reasons. To start, their respective generation peaks at different times during the day and season, allowing for more consistent power supply. They can also be co-located to leverage site development, approvals, and operational and cost synergies, such as sharing maintenance facilities and transmission powerline infrastructure.
The proposed Forty Mile Solar Power Project is to be located entirely on privately owned land with a maximum output capacity of 220 megawatts to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES).
Technical components of the Forty Mile Solar Project include solar modules, power inverters, an electrical collection system, access roads, temporary construction facilities, fencing around the project perimeter and an expansion of a substation.
The proposed Forty Mile Solar Power Project is located on privately owned land located in the County of Forty Mile, approximately 50 kilometres from the city of Medicine Hat. The proposed project area is approximately 20 kilometres from the town of Bow Island, Alberta.
The figure below identifies the location of the Forty Mile Solar Project and the area that has been studied. Click map to download (PDF, 1 pp., 1.84 MB).
The project schedule could look like the following:
|Consultations||Early 2021 - Fall 2021|
|AUC application||Fall 2021|
|Anticipated AUC approval||Early 2022|
|Anticipated final investment decision||Early 2022|
|Site mobilization (construction start)||Late 2022|
|Full commercial operation||Late 2024|
Solar modules – Photovoltaic solar modules use sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity.
Racking system – Solar modules are supported by a metal racking system. The two predominant racking technologies used in Alberta are fixed-tilt racking systems where the modules face south in a fixed position, or a single-axis tracking system that slowly rotates the modules from east to west to follow the sun.
Inverters – Inverters are used to convert direct current electricity generated by the solar modules to alternating current, which is the primary form of electricity transmitted and used throughout Alberta. The inverters are distributed across the project site.
Collector system – A network of electrical wires that conducts electricity from the inverters to the substation.
Substation - A collection of electrical equipment used to increase the voltage for energy transmission on the Alberta Interconnected Electric System. The equipment is within a fenced area.
Suncor believes in collaborative and proactive relationships with our stakeholders. Having the trust of our stakeholders is the foundation from which we work together. In our efforts, we must understand the interests, issues, needs and concerns of our stakeholders and community members.
- engage early with local stakeholders and community members to understand their concerns, interests and values, minimize impacts, and identify opportunities for mutual benefit;
- develop long-term positive relationships and presence in the communities; and
- respond to community concerns in a way that fosters constructive dialogue, trust and mutual respect.
Since Suncor began talking with community members about our Forty Mile projects, we’ve met with landowners and county council and hosted a community meet-and-greet and open houses to share information. We are also learning more about the community by supporting the HALO Air Ambulance, the Bow Island & District Health Foundation, the Bow Island Trade Show, the solarium project at the Bow Island Library and the North Forty Mile 4-H Club.
We want to engage early so that we can learn about the community and share information about the Forty Mile Solar Power Project’s conceptual designs and proposed specifications. We want to understand the community’s values, priorities, needs and concerns at all stages of project planning, so we can better reflect these community interests in the proposed project.
Suncor representatives have been sharing information and meeting with community members in support of our permit application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).
If you would like to receive updates about Suncor’s proposed Forty Mile Solar Power Project, please send us an email to be added to our distribution list.
Forty Mile Solar Project information update – August 2021
* Revised noise contour due to updated inverter specifications
Forty Mile Solar Project information update – July 2021
Forty Mile Solar Project information update – March 2021
Suncor’s strategy is to be Canada’s leading energy company by growing our business in low greenhouse gas (GHG) fuels, electricity, and hydrogen while sustaining and optimizing our existing hydrocarbon business and transforming our GHG footprint. With more than 20 years of renewable energy experience, Suncor continues to consider new technologies and practices to enhance environmental performance.
As part of the Forty Mile Solar Power Project, Suncor will complete a variety of studies that can include, but are not limited to:
- Historical resource studies
- Noise modeling and verification
- Visual impact assessments
- Wetland and watercourse assessments
- Wildlife and wildlife habitat studies
Suncor will consult with stakeholders to identify potential environmental impacts and potential mitigation measures. The final project development plan will reflect input provided by landowners, community members, regulators and local Indigenous communities and take into account relevant environmental factors.
We believe that the people and communities affected by our activities should benefit from energy development through opportunities such as employment, business development, education, training and community investment.
Key factors of being a sustainable energy company include strong economic performance, along with social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Suncor’s investment in the Forty Mile Solar Power Project will benefit the economy, people and nearby communities through:
- creating jobs (construction and operations)
- promoting economic growth and contracting opportunities
- increasing the community’s tax base; and
- investing in programs and initiatives that support resilient and sustainable communities.