The Town of Hanna recently received a grant of 10 million dollars to go towards the solar project that they are looking to put in place since the Climate Leadership Plan was put in place. They are looking into the largest solar project in Canada, which is a 120-megawatt solar project.
"Ever since the Climate Leadership Plan, we have been trying to come up with what would be the best solution for Hanna. The main goal was to generate a fund of some kind to help with economic development, kind of help some of the local businesses to help offset some of the cost of running some of our facilities," explained Chris Warwick, Mayor of Hanna.
The Town of Hanna decided to put the Hanna solar project into the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) BEST Challenge. ERA's BEST Challenge was a funding opportunity for biotechnology, electricity, and sustainable transportation.
"We saw some of these funding opportunities like the ERA BEST Challenge, so we decided to put our project into that challenge and we went past the first round, did a presentation in February to the panel and low and behold the announcement came a couple of weeks ago that we were successful. The 10 million dollars is a great start," continued Warwick.
The cost of this project is 162 million dollars and they are going to look into more funding models. They have an application into the Green Infrastructure Program, which is federal money that was given to the province for them to allocate to projects like this one.
"We have done environmental studies and the project is proposed to go on to previously mined land. It will be right across the road from the current generating station. That is kind of a neat story because it's using that property to the best capacity possible. Just to put it in perspective the 120-megawatt solar project will utilize approximately six quarter sections of land," concluded Warwick.
The impact of the mine closing will be a significant impact on the community, so this project will be a great thing to help the community move forward and attract more businesses to the community.