Regional Power is proposing an approximately 90 megawatt (MW) wind power project (the Project) around 12 km north of Irma, Alberta and 37 km north-west of Wainwright, Alberta. The proposed Irma Wind Power Project will be located in the Municipal District of Wainwright on approximately 6,700 acres of private land primarily within Township 47 and Range 9. Regional Power will seek sign off from the Municipal District of Wainwright and Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and approval for the Project and Kinsella Substation from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for the Project. In 2012, the Project received AEP sign off for approximately 65 turbine locations.
Currently, two wind turbine models are under consideration:
Option A includes up to 27 turbines; each with a capacity of 3.4 MW, a hub height of 110 m and a rotor diameter of 140 m. There are 28 potential locations in the Option A layout.
Option B includes up to 22 turbines; each with a capacity of 4.2 MW, a hub height of 129 m and a rotor diameter of 141 m. There are 24 potential locations in the Option B layout.
The project will use a medium voltage (34.5 kV) power collection system consisting of cables that link each turbine to the Project substation. The collection system is typically underground however sections of the collector system may be above ground where necessary due to environmental or other constraints.
The Project will include a collector substation (Kinsella Substation 926S), located on NE-18-47-9 W4M, which will include a transformer to increase the voltage from 34.5 kV to 138 kV for interconnection with the transmission system. The collector substation will also include protection and control equipment to ensure safe operation of the Project.
The Project will be interconnected to the transmission system operated by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) at the existing Buffalo Creek Substation 526S located on SW 12-48-9 W4M. AltaLink Management Ltd. will be responsible for the construction and long-term operation of a new transmission line from the collector substation to the Buffalo Creek Substation 526S.
Regional Power is committed to working closely with stakeholders to identify concerns and design our projects to that they are respectful of the needs of the community. Community engagement will take place throughout all phases of the Project.
Regional Power will meet with community stakeholders, government officials, and local businesses throughout the development process to ensure that stakeholders have an opportunity to express their ideas and concerns regarding the Project.
Ongoing Development Work
Regional Power is in the process of:
- Completing public consultation
- Updating and completing environmental and other studies
- Completing the wind resource assessment
- Completing Project design engineering and layout optimization
- Permitting activities including AESO interconnection process and AUC applications and municipal permits
Environmental and Other Studies
In 2012, the 65 originally proposed turbine locations received AEP sign-off. Regional Power has updated the environmental studies to confirm the environmental conditions and select the optimal turbine locations. These include desktop and some field studies focused on:
- Wildlife: birds, bats and other sensitive species
- Vegetation: habitat mapping, and native prairie grass and rare plant studies
- Wetlands: mapping, classification, and field verification
- Noise: impact assessment
- Historical Resources: archaeological and cultural features
Regional Power is currently drafting an updated Environmental Evaluation report for submission to AEP for an updated sign-off.
Expected Project Schedule
- July 2016: Regional Power acquires the Project from Mainstream Renewable Power
- Summer 2016: Update environmental field studies and permitting activities
- August 2016: First open house
- March 2017: Second open house
- Spring 2017: AUC application submission
- Summer 2018: AUC approval anticipated
- Fall 2018: Final Project engineering complete
- Winter 2018: Site mobilization
- 2019 – 2020: Commercial operations
- Updated Visual Simulations – May 2017
- Question & Answer – April 2017
- Open House 2 – Poster Boards – March 2017
- Health Factsheet – March 2017
- Project Newsletter – February 2017
- Project Layout Maps – February 2017
- Frequently Asked Questions Mailout – November 2016
- Question & Answer – November 2016
- Open House 1 – Poster Boards
- Irma Wind Power Project – Newsletter – August 2016
Alberta Utilities Commission
- AUC – Public Involvement in a Proposed Utility Development
- AUC – Rule 007 – Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines
- AUC – Rule 012 – Noise Control
Canadian Wind Energy Association