The Alberta Government has announced a desire to have 30 per cent of the province's energy output renewable energy by 2030 and the Drumheller region could be a big part of that.

Blue Earth Renewables is building a wind farm in the Hand Hills southeast of Delia.

"One of the things that we're working on right now is increasing the project's size to 130 megawatts from a 78-megawatt project," outlined Jared Sproule, the company's Lead of Business Development and Community Relations. "That's mainly due to a change in turbine capacity, so we would be going from what was previously 34 turbines down to 29."

Social media in the Delia area has seen a number of comments by people concerned about the project, but Sproule doesn't think they have anything to worry about.

"Wind projects do bring a lot of benefits to the local economy and communities nearby," he argued. "There's construction work; a project this size we would likely have four to five full-time staff for the operation of it; it really helps the local farmers and ranchers that are hosting the project diversify their income streams; as well as add some tax diversity to the local municipalities."

The Hand Hills Wind Project, as it's called, starts a few kilometres southeast of Delia and stretches across the Starland County line into Special Area #2. An open house to inform the public is scheduled from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Delia Community Centre.

"Alberta has always been known as kind of an energy powerhouse; we do have great oil resources (and) we also are blessed with great renewable resources," noted Sproule. "It's a chance for Alberta to continue on being an energy economy and diversify that energy mix."

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