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Thread: Epcor's 24-hectare river valley solar farm plan faces stiff opposition

  1. #1

    Default Epcor's 24-hectare river valley solar farm plan faces stiff opposition

    Edmonton residents are invited to have their say next week on a proposed solar farm Epcor is hoping to build in the river valley.

    An open house is now scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Elementary School gym, 18111 57 Avenue.

    The solar farm would be beside the E.L. Smith water treatment plant near the west boundary of the city, at about 35 Avenue and 168 Street near the neighbourhood of Cameron Heights. The land is currently zoned for parkland.

    ...
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...n-river-valley





    Last edited by OffWhyte; 06-02-2018 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Removed duplicate headline

  2. #2

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    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
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  3. #3

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    Wonder how many of these people want green technology then when companies are looking for places to place these panels it's NIMBY time. Solar panels are great as long as I don't have to put up with them type thinking.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
    Given:

    The intent is that 70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    stated in the Journal story, why not put it right next to its main user?
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  5. #5

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    Yes! Pro-alternative, pro-environment! (except for the 'destroying green parkland' bit - sorry bout that.)

  6. #6
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    The land is literally a brown field right now, with a bunch of ATV/off-road tracks on it. It is not parkland, nor will it ever be, as it will eventually be used for further expansion of the treatment plant. This seems like a no-brainer, to me.

  7. #7

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    Let me remind you that Rundle Park, Grierson Hill (Funicular site) and Strathcona Science Park used to be a City Dump. Hawrelak Park used to be a gravel pit.
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  8. #8

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    ^Are they lots of land owned by EPCOR fur utility use?
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
    Given:

    The intent is that 70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    stated in the Journal story, why not put it right next to its main user?
    Electricity is pooled so power can be added anywhere in the grid.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
    Given:

    The intent is that 70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    stated in the Journal story, why not put it right next to its main user?
    Electricity is pooled so power can be added anywhere in the grid.
    70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Let me remind you that Rundle Park, Grierson Hill (Funicular site) and Strathcona Science Park used to be a City Dump. Hawrelak Park used to be a gravel pit.
    What part of "future expansion" wasn't clear?

  12. #12

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    So what? So the treatment centre isn't powered by the sun. It's not the end of the world. Expand the solar grid elsewhere and the net benefit to Edmonton will be the same.

    Of ALL the empty space in this spread out city, why build it somewhere controversial? Why choose this place of all places? This isn't bloody Tokyo.

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    Again, at some point, EL Smith will need to be expanded to serve Edmonton's water and sewage treatment needs. That will happen on the land in question, hence why it is owned by Epcor. It will not be parkland in the future, nor is it even truly parkland right now as it is a stripped field. So in the meantime, Epcor is putting this proposal forward to use the land for a solar plant in the intervening decades.

  14. #14

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    They probably realized that if you let it look even a little bit like parkland they will never get it back.

    In general though I would like to see more installations like this in already developed locations, like the set that's shading cars in the Londonderry Simons parking lot, and more rooftop installations.
    There can only be one.

  15. #15

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    The better question here is why even have any of that on a floodplain. If and when the river decides to flood that area the plant along with the solar panels would be destroyed. So who thought it was smart idea back when they first put it in?

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Magnus View Post
    The better question here is why even have any of that on a floodplain. If and when the river decides to flood that area the plant along with the solar panels would be destroyed. So who thought it was smart idea back when they first put it in?
    Solar panels are up on stilts. They'll be fine.

    As for the plant, I imagine that the people who design such things took it into consideration. I know that in the handful of times in my lifetime that water got high enough to threaten roads or neighbourhoods there was never any mention of the plants being at risk.
    There can only be one.

  18. #18

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    Just because they are on stilts means nothing to water. What if the water gets past the 5 meter mark all of them would be underwater

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
    Classic NIMBY. Things are never in the right location or something else is wrong. I have to wonder if the so called environmentalists are a bigger threat than the climate change deniers now. The Greens in the BC are against a new dam, now opposition to a small solar power development here in Edmonton. Those that are trying do something about the environment are being stymied by those that claim to care about the environment. I suppose at some point the public will tire of this silliness and say it is easier to just do nothing and let the climate change deniers win.

  20. #20

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    Sorry it is not my neighbourhood so NIMBY does not apply. Cannot someone suggest a better location?
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Sorry it is not my neighbourhood so NIMBY does not apply. Cannot someone suggest a better location?
    There are always better and worse locations and the best ones seem to always be where no one lives or anything will be disturbed by the project. So probably building it on Mercury or Pluto would work well. I think the economics of building a transmission line are a big practical concern, so it makes sense to build it as close as possible to the facility it is meant to power rather than far away from the city.

    I don't know where you live, but I gathered from the article there was concern about the existing park land no longer being available for use, so I am thinking those that would most likely use it would live in the area.

  22. #22

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    I'm okay with this, only because the power from the solar panels will be used mostly to power the water treatment plant next to it. The land they are planning to use is just a field of nothing. It looks like they plan to keep as much of the forested areas as possible. I hope that the existing single track, and provisions for future multi-use trail can be maintained.


    http://www.rivervalley.ab.ca/wp-cont...ase-II-Map.pdf
    Last edited by Medwards; 06-02-2018 at 06:11 PM.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I would consider this site totally inappropriate. Is there not thousands of acres out by Wabamun that was stripmined for coal that could be used?
    Given:

    The intent is that 70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    stated in the Journal story, why not put it right next to its main user?
    Electricity is pooled so power can be added anywhere in the grid.
    70 per cent of the energy produced by the solar farm will run the water treatment centre
    So this limits line losses and so maximizes the environmental benefit.

    Also creates a new environment under and between the panels - but maintenance may mean that not much ‘nature’ will be allowed to grow. Moreover will weed killers, de-icers etc be used?

  24. #24
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    My mistake above, EL Smith is just water treatment, not sewage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Magnus View Post
    The better question here is why even have any of that on a floodplain. If and when the river decides to flood that area the plant along with the solar panels would be destroyed. So who thought it was smart idea back when they first put it in?
    What are you basing that on? I'm not questioning your assumption, I'm genuinely curious if you're actually basing that on good information. I can't imagine the City built a half billion dollar or so piece of infrastructure on an area that has high flood risk, or if they did, they would have mitigation strategies.

    And last I checked, water treatment plants are built next to, you know, water sources.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Sorry it is not my neighbourhood so NIMBY does not apply. Cannot someone suggest a better location?
    There are always better and worse locations and the best ones seem to always be where no one lives or anything will be disturbed by the project. So probably building it on Mercury or Pluto would work well. I think the economics of building a transmission line are a big practical concern, so it makes sense to build it as close as possible to the facility it is meant to power rather than far away from the city.
    Since when do you need to build a transmission line for a small to moderate sized solar farm? I already explained that power is pooled and generated power in another location is simply connected to the grid for use somewhere else. There is more than enough power transmission capacity serving the E.L.Smith site.





    Calgary powers their LRT with wind power in southern Alberta. That does not mean the actual electrons travel from the windmill to the LRT car. Power generated capacity is pooled and probably powers local homes and business, reducing the amount of fossil fuel power generated elsewhere. The important part is that any time you add alternative energy sources into the grid, you benefit the whole system.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I don't know where you live, but I gathered from the article there was concern about the existing park land no longer being available for use, so I am thinking those that would most likely use it would live in the area.
    Don't live anywhere near it, not even close. Don't think I have been near there in 10 years. That's a non-starter. We have a COE top-of-bank policy to follow.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 06-02-2018 at 09:14 PM.
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    Edmonton PRT, what other land that Epcor presently owns, is not currently using, but will require for future expansion in 30-40 years do you think is more suitable? Be specific!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    We have a COE top-of-bank policy to follow.


    Welp, Epcor best get with moving a few billion dollars of water and waste treatment plants I guess.

  27. #27

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    This is a fine location for it. If they had to clear cut to built this then it is another story.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

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    Slide 7 of the Epcor open house presentation shows most of the site as already being fenced:

    https://www.epcor.com/products-servi...ds-july-19.pdf

    This is not a pristine wilderness. It's an open field already mostly fenced off and unavailable for public use.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around why anyone would oppose a solar installation that helps power an existing water treatment plant and is located right beside it.

  29. #29

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    Exactly!
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Sorry it is not my neighbourhood so NIMBY does not apply. Cannot someone suggest a better location?
    There are always better and worse locations and the best ones seem to always be where no one lives or anything will be disturbed by the project. So probably building it on Mercury or Pluto would work well. I think the economics of building a transmission line are a big practical concern, so it makes sense to build it as close as possible to the facility it is meant to power rather than far away from the city.
    Since when do you need to build a transmission line for a small to moderate sized solar farm? I already explained that power is pooled and generated power in another location is simply connected to the grid for use somewhere else. There is more than enough power transmission capacity serving the E.L.Smith site.





    Calgary powers their LRT with wind power in southern Alberta. That does not mean the actual electrons travel from the windmill to the LRT car. Power generated capacity is pooled and probably powers local homes and business, reducing the amount of fossil fuel power generated elsewhere. The important part is that any time you add alternative energy sources into the grid, you benefit the whole system.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I don't know where you live, but I gathered from the article there was concern about the existing park land no longer being available for use, so I am thinking those that would most likely use it would livne in the area.
    Don't live anywhere near it, not even close. Don't think I have been near there in 10 years. That's a non-starter. We have a COE top-of-bank policy to follow.
    Well if it was located far from the plant it was meant to power it would need transmission lines and there would be a cost to that either by using existing lines or new ones or both. As it is a small project any such costs may be significant.

    Is following a top bank policy suddenly the issue? tt seems to be one of Edmontons most ignored policies. You will be quite busy tearing down lots of homes first if you want to follow it.

    Interesting you have such strong feelings for an area you haven't been to in 10 years, but I get the sense most of the people who don't want this to proceed have a more recent connection to the locality.

  31. #31

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    You still don't understand that they would not have to build a transmission line and how power is transmitted. When they built additional generating capacity using windmills in southern Alberta, they did not have to build a transmission line all the way to Calgary and right to the LRT. All the had to do was to hook it to the local grid adjacent to the windfall.
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  32. #32

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    Top of bank policy is for new construction and development.
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  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    The land is literally a brown field right now, with a bunch of ATV/off-road tracks on it. It is not parkland, nor will it ever be, as it will eventually be used for further expansion of the treatment plant. This seems like a no-brainer, to me.
    A quick Google Earth check shows that it used to be a productive farm field in 2004. I hardly think it is now a ATV area since it is entirely fenced.

    There is a lot of land such as the AMD ROW especially at interchanges that are perfect for solar farms.

    Here is an example of a well sited solar farm

    Solar arrays, such as this facility along I-90, are being developed on MassDOT’s highway rights of way. Photo: Massachusetts DOT
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  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    The land is literally a brown field right now, with a bunch of ATV/off-road tracks on it. It is not parkland, nor will it ever be, as it will eventually be used for further expansion of the treatment plant. This seems like a no-brainer, to me.
    A quick Google Earth check shows that it used to be a productive farm field in 2004. I hardly think it is now a ATV area since it is entirely fenced.

    There is a lot of land such as the AMD ROW especially at interchanges that are perfect for solar farms.

    Here is an example of a well sited solar farm

    Solar arrays, such as this facility along I-90, are being developed on MassDOT’s highway rights of way. Photo: Massachusetts DOT
    I imagine that the ongoing maintenance (like regularly washing panels) means that there are relatively few really great locations.

    Blowing the snow off them and levelling the snow that slides off them and the ice hardened ridges that freezing snow melt below would create would be other small but frequent tasks, so I’d guess larger solar farms are slightly more efficient than several smaller disbursed farms. (I may be wrongly assuming that snow ridge buildup needs to be dealt with to maintain access.)
    Last edited by KC; 07-02-2018 at 07:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Top of bank policy is for new construction and development.
    Private only, with a giant asterisk for municipal development/infrastructure. There is plenty of new municipal infrastructure top of bank and indeed in the valley itself. See the Henday crossings, future expansions of Goldbar/EL Smith, and so on. To say nothing of potential Rossdale development.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    There is a lot of land such as the AMD ROW especially at interchanges that are perfect for solar farms.


    I was not aware that Epcor owned most of Edmonton's interchanges. Interdasting!

    And you still haven't addressed the concrete fact that EL Smith will be expanded in the future on to this site. Again, it will never be parkland, and hasn't been previously. Nothing is being lost, while the gains are self evident.

    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    I imagine that the ongoing maintenance (like regularly washing panels) means that there are relatively few really great locations.


    That's an issue as well. Not to mention that each interchange's free area is a lot less than the site by EL Smith, but each would require some sort of substation and grid tie. These kinds of projects need scale to be viable.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I imagine that the ongoing maintenance (like regularly washing panels) means that there are relatively few really great locations.

    Blowing the snow off them and levelling the snow that slides off them and the ice hardened ridges that freezing snow melt below would create would be other small but frequent tasks, so I’d guess larger solar farms are slightly more efficient than several smaller disbursed farms. (I may be wrongly assuming that snow ridge buildup needs to be dealt with to maintain access.)
    I think it snows on any location be it at the ELS site or along a highway
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    The point is that such required access is much more difficult when the site is entirely surrounded by high speed freeways, and that scale also matters for such tasks.

  38. #38

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    Epcor could mitigate many of the concerns raised here and in the community if they would demonstrate the reasons why this site is preferred to potential alternative sites. Sadly their rationale for selecting this site is absent from both the project's website and from their submission to council.

  39. #39

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    I think the point everyone is missing here - the main purpose of this solar farm is to provide power to EL Smith Water treatment plant, which is why it makes sense to build next to it in the river valley.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    My mistake above, EL Smith is just water treatment, not sewage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Magnus View Post
    The better question here is why even have any of that on a floodplain. If and when the river decides to flood that area the plant along with the solar panels would be destroyed. So who thought it was smart idea back when they first put it in?
    What are you basing that on? I'm not questioning your assumption, I'm genuinely curious if you're actually basing that on good information. I can't imagine the City built a half billion dollar or so piece of infrastructure on an area that has high flood risk, or if they did, they would have mitigation strategies.

    And last I checked, water treatment plants are built next to, you know, water sources.

    The proposed solar farm is also not in the floodplain.

    Please don't believe me, please investigate yourself: http://maps.srd.alberta.ca/floodhazard/

  41. #41
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    Thanks, 2 minutes of Googling didn't turn that up. So as I said, the City had the foresight to not locate an incredibly expensive piece of infrastructure on a floodplain. Fancy that.

    If only Calgary's municipal leaders in the past had the same foresight...
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 07-02-2018 at 10:02 AM.

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    The point is that such required access is much more difficult when the site is entirely surrounded by high speed freeways, and that scale also matters for such tasks.
    Come on Marcel, I expected a much higher level of response from you. Your arguments in other posts are stronger, sourced and less opinionated.

    From your first post on this thread, you posted disinformation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    The land is literally a brown field right now, with a bunch of ATV/off-road tracks on it. It is not parkland, nor will it ever be, as it will eventually be used for further expansion of the treatment plant. This seems like a no-brainer, to me.
    It is not a brownfield site. It is a greenfield site that was used for agriculture. The area is fenced so the only 'tracks' are for EPCOR's use. As far as parkland, it is not but unless you can see into the future, it is not true that it will never be parkland. You fail to acknowledge that the area is zoned 'A' agriculture ant EPCOR wants it rezoned as 'PU' Public Utility. I am not saying that it has to be rezoned to parkland but why not keep it as part of our agricultural reserve? I bet the soil is top grade and an excellent site for market gardens or even greenhouses, powered by solar energy supplied from solar projects on brownfield or other sites. (Note, as proven, the solar panels can be on an entirely different site without need to build any need for transmission lines (pooled).)

    It is intellectually disingenuous that you try to sweep all concerns away and are will not give the site the consideration it deserves. I at least have proposed alternative sites and understand that green projects do not have to be sited on greenfield areas in the river valley, something Edmonton has had a long history to protect and


    A highway directly to the site is hardly 'much more difficult to access' especially since the site does not require daily maintenance. Obviously scale is a non-starter because by my example, others have built them in interchanges and people even have bidirectional metered solar panels on their home, hardly a scale issue. There are dozens of sites along various road and utility ROW's so the scale is definitely not limited. Heck they place huge billboards along highways, why not lower solar panels? There are tons of parking lots, large roof's and industrial sites that co be coordinated with interested parties.

    I never stated that EPCOR owned the AHD ROW. Not owning the land is not the issue. In fact, putting solar panels along freeways is a marketing and public promotion of EPCOR's 'green' power generation. It can also help with reducing noise in neighbourhood adjacent to the ROW and act as a mitigation of drifting snow on highways. A well designed project could be a win-win-win for EPCOR, the COE and local residences and businesses.

    I am not NIMBY, I just see a bigger opportunity to create a much greener project and if they wanted to build greenhouses on the site, I would be fully for it. I have suggested greenhouses adjacent to Edmonton power plants and refineries in the past that use excess and waste steam heat before.

    Come on Marcel, Think Big AND Green!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    You fail to acknowledge that the area is zoned 'A' agriculture ant EPCOR wants it rezoned as 'PU' Public Utility.

    And you have repeatedly failed to acknowledge that Epcor owns the land because at some point in the medium to long term the treatment plant will need to be expanded on to it. And if it doesn't eventually expand there, a new or expanded treatment plant will need to be built elsewhere in the river valley. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    (Note, as proven, the solar panels can be on an entirely different site without need to build any need for transmission lines (pooled).)

    Your "proof" conveniently omits the fact that Epcor does not own "an entirely different site" that is slated for future expansion that can be used in the interim for a solar plant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    It is intellectually disingenuous that you try to sweep all concerns away

    It is intellectually disingenuous to refuse to acknowledge that this site will eventually be used for expansion of the treatment plant, and that Epcor does not own other equivalent sites upon which to develop this plant.

  44. #44

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    Putting the solar plant next to the water treatment plans will forgo the need for substation I would think. Despite it being currently zoned for agriculture, agriculture hasn't happened on this land for quite some time. It makes sense to rezone this land for it's intended purpose. The land is owned by EPCOR, and will never be used for recreation.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    You fail to acknowledge that the area is zoned 'A' agriculture ant EPCOR wants it rezoned as 'PU' Public Utility.

    And you have repeatedly failed to acknowledge that Epcor owns the land because at some point in the medium to long term the treatment plant will need to be expanded on to it. And if it doesn't eventually expand there, a new or expanded treatment plant will need to be built elsewhere in the river valley. Period.


    Basic Fact: They own land zoned A, not PU. They cannot do anything without rezoning.


    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    (Note, as proven, the solar panels can be on an entirely different site without need to build any need for transmission lines (pooled).)

    Your "proof" conveniently omits the fact that Epcor does not own "an entirely different site" that is slated for future expansion that can be used in the interim for a solar plant.
    Basic Fact: Neither of us know of the extent of EPCOR's land holdings. I also offered viable alternatives of ROW leased usage. happens all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    It is intellectually disingenuous that you try to sweep all concerns away

    It is intellectually disingenuous to refuse to acknowledge that this site will eventually be used for expansion of the treatment plant, and that Epcor does not own other equivalent sites upon which to develop this plant.
    Repeat, Basic Fact: Neither of us know of the extent of EPCOR's land holdings.

    I gave a lot of positive alternatives

    You panned them, that's your prerogative.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 07-02-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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  46. #46

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    Everyone knows that agriculture zoning in the city is essentially a placeholder until the owner gets around to planning something for it. Even the prime agriculture land in the NE where the landowners are actively trying to preserve their agricultural land.
    There can only be one.

  47. #47

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    Despite the 'positive alternatives' offered by Edmonton PRT, all three fail to note the need for a substation if you move the water-treatment-solar-power-plant away from the water-treatment-plant. Keeping the solar-power-plant next to the water-treatment-plant makes sense in 'a better edmonton through effective, efficient and economical' utilities.

    Also, rezonings happen all the time. Yes, it's currently A, because that use is best suited for its current use. The owner of the land is requesting to change this zoning, so hence the discussion here. It's silly to to think that because at some point in the past it was zoned A, that it should never ever be changed.

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    Ben awhile since I've been out that way, but I don't recall much more than the treatment plant and a detox centre.

    This opposition seems "much ado about nothing," to quote e certain playright ...
    ... gobsmacked

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    My mistake above, EL Smith is just water treatment, not sewage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Magnus View Post
    The better question here is why even have any of that on a floodplain. If and when the river decides to flood that area the plant along with the solar panels would be destroyed. So who thought it was smart idea back when they first put it in?
    What are you basing that on? I'm not questioning your assumption, I'm genuinely curious if you're actually basing that on good information. I can't imagine the City built a half billion dollar or so piece of infrastructure on an area that has high flood risk, or if they did, they would have mitigation strategies.

    And last I checked, water treatment plants are built next to, you know, water sources.

    The proposed solar farm is also not in the floodplain.

    Please don't believe me, please investigate yourself: http://maps.srd.alberta.ca/floodhazard/
    The bank isnt/doesnt look that high to begin with, that's why i called it a floodplain even though your site that you have linked doesnt show it as so. Im just thinking if the river ever did get to or past the hight of the bank around the plant it would indeed flood.

  50. #50
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    ^The map to which Medwards provided a link shows that the solar installation will be located on a benchland where there is almost zero flood risk.

    Unlike some of the other benchlands including parts of Rossdale, Cloverdale and Riverdale that experienced major flooding as recently as 1986 and could do so again.

  51. #51

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    ^Yes. But I'm talking about a flood we haven't seen in our time that could potentially get past the hight of floods we have had and flood that area

  52. #52

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    Per a tv news story on this, some of the opposition is simply due to an opposition to any river valley development as it’s seen as a slippery slope. That’s probably a realistic fear.

  53. #53

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    Upstream from the city, the river is dammed, and even one or two of its tributaries are dammed. The flood 'risk' is about as high as an overland flood risk anywhere else.

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    ^ Same with the Bow upstream from Calgary. Reservoirs have limited capacity, and can be filled by extreme precipitation plus snowmelt combination events in the spring.

    Regardless, it does look like Epcor management is using the appeal of green energy as a ploy to prevent the ultimate owner (the City of Edmonton) from transferring the land away from the company for use as parkland. I doubt they will actually need the land for plant expansion, there is enough room on the original site to build a second treatment plant the same size as the existing one. The solar panels could also be placed on the roof of the existing plant, and on the empty fields on the existing site.

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    The magnitude of flood that would threaten this installation would wipe out almost every bridge in Edmonton with it. This isn't low a low lying area. That argument is a non-starter.

    It's fenced, but it's definitely still used for recreation as there are almost always vehicles parked on the side of the Henday at the utility entrance. Not sure about ATVs, but people do use it for things other than Epcor business. That said, it's a huge piece of sloped property that isn't really going to be useful for much else anyway. The plans appear to leave a strip of the most usable section along the river anyway. Also, there are plans to make everything South of the Henday to Devon into a Provincial Park, which would limit further development.

    As someone who lives in the nearby area, drives past this regularly, and uses this section of the river valley for recreation I'm on board with this development. YIMBY.

  56. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Top of bank policy is for new construction and development.
    Yes. It was then there was a 20 or so year gap when it wasn't applied and a lot of construction happened in top of bank areas. The policy seems to be less rigid than you think, so if you want to apply it rigidly we would need to tear down a lot of things.

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    ^ The proposed site isn't even top of bank, it is in the valley. New construction still seems to be happening river side of the top of bank roads though - just look at the partially completed subdivsion adjacent to the area we are discussing: https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.47429.../data=!3m1!1e3

    Great policy idea, terrible execution. Ada boulevard should be the model for all new top of bank construction - absolutely no private development river side of the last public road. Public utilities that need to be located in the valley (like water and sewage treatment plants) should occupy the smallest possible footprint. The rest should be parkland.

  58. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    You still don't understand that they would not have to build a transmission line and how power is transmitted. When they built additional generating capacity using windmills in southern Alberta, they did not have to build a transmission line all the way to Calgary and right to the LRT. All the had to do was to hook it to the local grid adjacent to the windfall.
    Well thank you for sharing your superior knowledge oh wise one, but actually I think I do understand. You see, outside the city (if you have lived outside the city - I have) there is not actually a power line on every block. Yes, there are power lines and a grid, but depending on where a facility is located that grid could be miles and miles away so you would have to build lines to connect to that grid. If you have tried to connect a rural property to the existing power lines (which are usually not that far) you might know that cost is not insignificant.

  59. #59

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    I understand the historic desire and practice of preserving our river valley. So could existing river valley developments be multipuposed for electricity generation.

    In this case could the water treatment plant itself and fenced land support much in the way of solar panelling? (Eg raise the panels and park below them.)

    Also, the city has huge buildings that might support solar rooftop installations. The waste management people are even looking at modifications to the composting building roof right now. If they have to strengthen and reinforce it, then make it suitable for solar at the same time. Any other structures there?

    Also, the utility corridors around the city seem to contain large areas of flat agricultural land that I doubt people would miss if some of it was covered over in solar plant.

    Some other top of the bank land, maybe even more, might be undeveloped and close to the water plant. This might even allow substantial expansion of the solar farm.
    Last edited by KC; 13-02-2018 at 09:36 AM.

  60. #60

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    If this plant were stretched out into a single line of panels, how long would it be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    You still don't understand that they would not have to build a transmission line and how power is transmitted. When they built additional generating capacity using windmills in southern Alberta, they did not have to build a transmission line all the way to Calgary and right to the LRT. All the had to do was to hook it to the local grid adjacent to the windfall.
    Well thank you for sharing your superior knowledge oh wise one, but actually I think I do understand. You see, outside the city (if you have lived outside the city - I have) there is not actually a power line on every block. Yes, there are power lines and a grid, but depending on where a facility is located that grid could be miles and miles away so you would have to build lines to connect to that grid. If you have tried to connect a rural property to the existing power lines (which are usually not that far) you might know that cost is not insignificant.
    FORTIS quoted me $30,000 for ~400m of single line 50 amp service, about $50,000 for 100A. Transformer rent/costs extra. This included brushing costs, which are not insignificant. I am not siding with anyone, just providing an example for comparison of just how small your contribution goes. ...and to poke at the common thought on this forum that rural residences get "oh so many subsidies". Yeah, right.

    Further making me shake my head, I've repeated to several generators that I am willing to partner on 40-50 ha of perfect solar land, immediately adjacent to a 500 kV HVDC transmission line that's getting shoved up my derriere with no real compensation....and this land close to the substation. Not a return phone call. Not...a....one...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  62. #62

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    PRT logic fails again - yes, "you can just hook it up to the grid", but it's wrong to assume that transmission lines can just have infinite capacity.

  63. #63

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    Even in the EPCOR proposal, they have a 15KV line from the panels to the grid. Everyone, (well almost everyone) understands that there are costs to connect it to any grid, anywhere. What I was addressing was that there is no need to build a transmission line from a remote site such as Wabamun or Genesee ALL THE WAY to the EL Smith water treatment plant. I supplied infographics that corrects the misunderstanding by posters who cannot understand or deliberate misinformation, posters who are just using it to quell a possible alternative site. There are alternatives to rezoning and building it in the river valley.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  64. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Even in the EPCOR proposal, they have a 15KV line from the panels to the grid. Everyone, (well almost everyone) understands that there are costs to connect it to any grid, anywhere. What I was addressing was that there is no need to build a transmission line from a remote site such as Wabamun or Genesee ALL THE WAY to the EL Smith water treatment plant. I supplied infographics that corrects the misunderstanding by posters who cannot understand or deliberate misinformation, posters who are just using it to quell a possible alternative site. There are alternatives to rezoning and building it in the river valley.
    There are always alternatives, but there are also costs. Do you mean to say the EPCOR proposal is more expensive than the alternatives you propose?

  65. #65

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    The solar power is mostly for the water treatment plant. Building it else where goes against EPRT signature "Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical" city-owned utilities.

    Building it else where would require a substation.

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    A) Bill C50 under Stelmach provided the ability to build excessive transmission infrastructure. So far, WADL, EADL, the soon to be constructed WFMAC, and others now provide Alberta with infrastructure we won't even begin to tap in 90 years.

    B) With this overbuilt infrastructure, there are plenty of places to build solar, nuke, gas, etc.

    C) IMO - the main reason why this is in the river valley is to be a showpiece. No one will see it if it is in Fox Creek or Balzac.

    D) The "remote" infrastructure referenced in Genesee or Wabamun, there are actually 2 major substations nearby, so Wab or Genesee are nowhere near "remote". WADL and WFMAC both connect into the Sunnybrook (Genesee) substation. WAB's ALTALINK substation and transmission lines are still up, but not connected to any generation.

    ...just trying to add some perspective here. Feel free to go back to arguing.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  67. #67

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    One of the aspects of any power generation site selection is optimum characteristics.

    You site a coal power plant near a cooling water source, access to coal by truck or rail, quality of coal available, etc. and least impact on the environment

    You site a hydro power plant on a location where you can build a sizable reservoir with a highest head and lowest cost dam, etc. and least impact on the environment

    You site a wind farm where you have studied where there are the most steady winds and least impact on the environment. Moving the site to another ridge can easily increase power output by as much as 50%. The Province of Alberta has had detailed wind power maps since the 1970's

    https://canwea.ca/wind-facts/why-wind-works/

    You site a solar farm where you have studied where there is the maximum solar energy and and least impact on the environment. Has this site been studied for the amount of solar energy available. The Province of Alberta has had detailed solar power maps since the 1970's

    The point is, just because you have the land, it may not be the best location for a solar farm.

    https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex10305
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  68. #68

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    Yes Edmonton PRT, EPCOR hasn't done any studies at all, as you suspected, and they are just marching forward, blind, and without purpose. You nailed it 100% no studies, no nothing.

  69. #69

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    OK. In your world view you don't want to even consider amy discussion on alternate views, suggestions for different sites, and consideration of protection of lands within the river valley. You just want EPCOR to have their rezoning approval and part of that process is a public consultation and all the public input you will accept is what color does the public want the solar panel supports to be painted and the type of landscaping. Then EPCOR can check off the 'public consultation' part of their zoning approval.


    You and I used to have these arguments that no one could question the Transportation Department's and COE plans and you railed against me stating that the TD and COE knew what they were doing and did not need any input from 'armchair engineers'.

    Over time you realized that the TD and COE were being deceptive and only wanted the public to confirm their plans and had no intention of listening. This was confirmed by statents made by Mayor Mandel that the Transportation Department was intransigent.


    Don't you see that you are blindly defending EPCOR with a confirmation bias?

    OK, you win. I will not bother to offer suggestions for a even larger solar project where EPCOR could get additional benefits. Just remember that Edmontonians bought and paid for EPCOR with their utility bills and they have a near monopoly. In effect we are paying for the solar farm through our utility bills and you don't want anyone to question how they spend our money or what they do with a site in the river valley surrounded by parkland. Just rubber stamp their rezoning without question.

    Public consultation.

    Been there...

    ...done that.

    Check✔
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  70. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post

    C) IMO - the main reason why this is in the river valley is to be a showpiece. No one will see it if it is in Fox Creek or Balzac.
    The main reason it's next to the water treatment plant is because the water treatment plant will be its main consumer. If it was to be a show piece, there's many other places where it will be much more visible. The proposed location is in a section of the river valley that isn't really visible to the public unless they were actually going to the water treatment plant. The land it will use used to be a farm field, the land is owned by EPCOR. According to the map posted by EPRT, SW Edmonton seems to get more Annual solar radiation than other places.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    One of the aspects of any power generation site selection is optimum characteristics.

    (...)The Province of Alberta has had detailed solar power maps since the 1970's

    The point is, just because you have the land, it may not be the best location for a solar farm.

    Thanks for the maps that I have as well...and oh look... I'm in the second best solar land in the province...next to 2 new HVDC lines and up to 6 existing...

    Now, I'd prefer the boondoggle of the one HVDC line being forcibly shoved up my behind not existing at all, but since it was...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post

    C) IMO - the main reason why this is in the river valley is to be a showpiece. No one will see it if it is in Fox Creek or Balzac.
    The main reason it's next to the water treatment plant is because the water treatment plant will be its main consumer. If it was to be a show piece, (...)
    No, the "showpiece". Is exactly what you're saying. It is to show that your water is being done with solar energy...and lookie here...here are they very panels! That's the show.

    I'm not arguing against this location nor the project. This idea offends me about as much as Comic Sans font - aka it doesn't.

    I'm just saying that if there are less controversial sites that accomplish the same goals, why not take a less resistive path to achieve the same goals? Electricity flows on the path of least resistance...holy metaphor batman.

    However, I am watching more from a technical perspective.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  73. #73
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    It's almost like your negative experiences elsewhere are coloring your viewpoint here.

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    Huh?

    Or... I've been involved in Generation (mainly Thermal and Hydro) since 1992 and have a different take on things, including legislation.

    To me, this project is OK. Like I said, I don't object to it. So, how is my viewpoint being coloured negatively?

    To add...if you're taking my theme of looking at a more comprehensive Generation, Transmission, Distribution, and Retail plan for this Province...and for export... one that looks at best options and no longer takes anachronistic thoughts, combines them with archaic legislation, and instead applies 2018 themes of environmental and economic fairness... then yes...guilty.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  75. #75

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    Why’s noodle not all over this thread?

  76. #76

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    I dont know why, but I guess NDA or something.

  77. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    One of the aspects of any power generation site selection is optimum characteristics.

    You site a coal power plant near a cooling water source, access to coal by truck or rail, quality of coal available, etc. and least impact on the environment

    You site a hydro power plant on a location where you can build a sizable reservoir with a highest head and lowest cost dam, etc. and least impact on the environment

    You site a wind farm where you have studied where there are the most steady winds and least impact on the environment. Moving the site to another ridge can easily increase power output by as much as 50%. The Province of Alberta has had detailed wind power maps since the 1970's

    https://canwea.ca/wind-facts/why-wind-works/

    You site a solar farm where you have studied where there is the maximum solar energy and and least impact on the environment. Has this site been studied for the amount of solar energy available. The Province of Alberta has had detailed solar power maps since the 1970's

    The point is, just because you have the land, it may not be the best location for a solar farm.

    https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex10305
    Great map. Thanks for posting.

    Note: This is annual. Annual values may not align with consumption issues.

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