Solar farm the size of 313 football fields to be built at Edmonton airport

EDMONTON - A European-based company is proposing to build a solar farm bigger than 300 CFL football fields at Edmonton's international airport.

Edmonton International Airport and Alpin Sun are working on an agreement that will see the company develop Airport City Solar, a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm on what is now a canola field on the west side of the airport lands.

The solar farm will be the largest at an airport anywhere in the world, EIA said in a news release Tuesday.

"It's a great opportunity to drive economic development as well as be better for the environment," Myron Keehn, vice-president, commercial development and air service at EIA, told CBC News.

"We're really excited that [Alpin Sun] has chosen Edmonton and the airport to do it. It's a great location. We've got lots of land, we're geographically located north, which is great for us, because it allows us to have great hours of sunlight.

"As everyone knows in Edmonton, you can golf early in the morning or golf late at night in the summertime here. And in wintertime it's great, because of the snow, and the reflective [sunlight] off the snow that creates power as well."

Airport official Myron Keehn says the field behind him will become home to the world's largest solar farm at an airport. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

The project will "create jobs, provide sustainable solar power for our region and show our dedication to sustainability," Tom Ruth, EIA president and CEO, said in the news release.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022. The solar farm would be operational by the end of that year, the release said. 

Alpin Sun says the project will bring in $169 million in foreign investment to the Edmonton metro region. 

Power generated by Airport City Solar will feed into Fortis Alberta and airport distribution systems.


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