Canada's largest indigenous solar project goes online with Concord Pacific's Terry Hui

Feb 1 2023, 7:00 pm

The country’s largest Indigenous capital investment in solar energy has just been unveiled, and the project’s partners say it will help Canada address its climate change goals.

Concord Pacific President and CEO Terry Hui and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) announced today the successful completion of commissioning for three solar farms in their ACFN-Concord Solar Partnership portfolio.

The Coaldale, Monarch and Vulcan solar farms in southern Alberta were brought online between June and October 2022 and officially opened with traditional Indigenous blessings and a ceremony at the end of the year.

Concord Solar Farm

Concord Green Energy ACFN Ribbon Cutting/Submitted

The three photovoltaic solar farms in southern Alberta cover approximately 480 acres and are expected to significantly increase Alberta’s production of renewable energy, reduce stress on the province’s electricity market, and help the country achieve its climate change goals.

“Building green power has been central to Concord Pacific’s commitment to sustainable development,” said Hui in a release. “These projects are valuable additions to our portfolio of over 20 large-scale renewable energy projects currently in operation and development.

“Partnering with leading First Nations like ACFN will play an important role in our investment strategy, particularly as it relates to our focus on renewable energy.”

Concord Solar Farm

Coaldale Solar Farm (ACFN-Concord/Submitted)

Coaldale, Monarch and Vulcan solar farms are described as the first $145 million step in the partnership between Concord Pacific’s wholly owned subsidiary Concord Green Energy and ACFN Green Energy.

The project is estimated to deliver an annual output of 150-gigawatt hours (GWh) to the Alberta power grid and capture about 26 GWh of electricity annually once the 2023 battery storage has completed construction.

Concord Solar Far,

Monarch Solar Farm (ACFN-Concord/Submitted)

ACFN’s 1,280 members primarily reside in Fort Chipewyan, Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Fort Smith. For the Nation, the partnership with Concord Green Energy is an important part of its economic self-sufficiency and creating long-term revenue streams that align with its environmental goals and values.

“The Chipewyan Dene see the impacts of climate change getting worse every year,” said Chief Allan Adam of ACFN in a statement. “We accept that the oilsands industry is an important part of our economy and creates jobs and revenue for our people, but the world is changing, and everyone has to use clean energy that doesn’t pollute and cause climate change to spin out of control.

“ACFN is pleased to partner with Concord Pacific in these solar investments to create a long-term revenue stream that aligns with our environmental responsibilities and values.”

Concord Solar Farm

Concord Green Energy ACFN/Submitted

“ACFN has proven to be a valuable partner,” added Hui. “They have the sophistication and financial ability in handling large and complex transactions, typically undertaken by institutional investors. We appreciate their foresight in creating a strong balance sheet with income-generating assets for future generations.”

Focusing on the clean energy sector is a priority for Concord Pacific, with hydro, solar, and wind projects in BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta. Concord Green Energy projects currently generate enough energy to power every residence in Vancouver’s core.

Concord Pacific works with a variety of local indigenous groups both in green energy and development. In BC, the company has royalty agreements with the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations on two Run of River projects.

It also has real estate development relationships with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for the St. Paul’s hospital site.

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