Medicine Hat to be site of solar thermal power project
The Alberta government is investing $3 million to help establish a pilot project in Medicine Hat that will demonstrate the potential of using solar energy to produce the steam needed to generate electricity, instead of using fossil fuels, according to a Government of Alberta news release.
By Craig Pearson
The Medicine Hat Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy Demonstration Project will be the first in Canada, says the release, to add a solar-powered steam generation system to an existing power plant, allowing the plant’s turbines to generate a portion of its electricity from a renewable energy source.
“Alberta has once again set a benchmark for developing energy-efficiency technology that will help secure a clean energy future,” said Rob Renner, Minister of Alberta Environment and MLA for Medicine Hat. “This is another step forward in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases at the source here in Alberta.”
The Medicine Hat power plant generates electricity for customers within the City of Medicine Hat, Redcliff, Dunmore, Veinerville and outlying rural areas adjacent to the city. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2012.
“Medicine Hat is proud to house such an important project in the continued exploration of renewable energy sources,” said Medicine Hat Mayor Norm Boucher.
The government says the project will cost $9 million in total. The Climate Change Emissions Management Corporation, which administers Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund, is directing $3 million towards the clean energy project and the City of Medicine Hat is also providing $3 million. The Government of Alberta’s $3 million comes from its portion of the Canada ecoTrust program.
“The Medicine Hat Concentrating Solar Thermal project will help us understand how this innovative commercial technology might be applied in northern climates,” said Eric Newell, Chair of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation.