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Oil and gas developer TC Energy begins construction on its first solar project

October 07, 2022

Financial Post:

Canadian pipeline giant TC Energy Corp. is set to start construction on a $146-million solar farm in southern Alberta that could eventually generate enough energy to power 20,000 homes annually.

The fully permitted Saddlebrook Solar Project will be the company’s first solar power project, with a capacity to generate 81 megawatts, the company said in a release Tuesday. It will be built on TC Energy property in an industrial park near Aldersyde, Alta.

Like many of Canada’s bigger oil and gas companies, TC Energy is adding renewable energy to its portfolio as countries commit to reduce carbon emissions. The company has pledged to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 per cent, and “position” itself to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2050.

TC Energy’s solar project is part of the company’s plan to offer customers the option of carbon-free power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It aims to combine power sourced from different emissions-free assets, such as wind, solar and long-duration pumped hydro, to eliminate renewable generation variability and provide green power around the clock.

“I’d characterize this as a new step in the journey where we are changing our profile to be a more integrated deliverer of energy resources for the customers we serve,” said Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s executive vice-president and president of power and energy solutions. “We are committed to decarbonizing and meeting the Canadian and U.S. decarbonization goals and this is just one step in the process and it’s one of many steps we’ll take as we deliver these new opportunities to the customers that we serve.”

The hybrid solar generation facility will be combined with flow battery energy storage technology that proponents hope will demonstrate the practicality of renewable generation and the viability of long duration battery storage in Alberta.

[Meghan Potkins]

More: Pipeline giant TC Energy to build $146-million solar farm in southern Alberta

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