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SCEF enters Alberta market with 12 MW solar project

IMAGE: generic solar panels on a field.
Courtesy the Skyline Clean Energy Fund.

The Skyline Clean Energy Fund (SCEF) has entered the Alberta solar market with the acquisition of a ground-mounted 12 MW solar project southwest of the town of Bassano.

Once complete by the end of 2023, the project is expected to have an annual generation of 17,621 mW-h, which is equal to providing electricity to approximately 2,890 homes per year.

“We are thrilled as this is SCEF’s first investment into the Alberta solar market, and hopefully the first of many. This is also our first investment in a non-operational project (i.e., shovel ready development),” said Rob Stein, Skyline Energy's president in a statement.

“SCEF's foundation in Alberta is being strengthened with this acquisition and we will continue to look for new clean energy assets that align with our investment strategy in order to provide even more value to our unitholders."

The project was jointly developed by Alberta-based Irricana Power Generation (IPG) and SunAlta Power Inc. It will be connected to the FortisAlberta distribution system.

The SCEF, based in Guelph, Ont., is a privately owned and managed portfolio of medium to large-scale clean energy assets, focused on acquiring income-producing assets across Canada under long-term government contracts.  It is distributed as an alternative investment product through Skyline Wealth Management Inc., and is operated and managed by the Skyline Group of Companies, founded in 1999.

As of March of this year, the group held over $7 billion in assets under management.

The SCEF’s solar project

The acquisition was made possible through the purchase of 100 per cent of the shares in 2289994 Alberta Inc. The project will be located at 202082 Range Road 174 Newell County.

SunAlta Power was founded in 2018 by Aenergy Capital Inc. and BTM Energy Partners Ltd. to  identify, develop and implement medium-sized decentralized solar photovoltaic projects in Alberta.

“We are proud to have diligently worked in partnership with Irricana Power Generation to ensure that this project has achieved all regulatory milestones and commercial objectives through a challenging period of time,” said Jim Goldmann, SunAlta Power’s co-founder in a statement.

“We are excited to know that Skyline Clean Energy Fund, a company committed to investing in sustainable growth in Alberta, will take the final step and construct the project, bringing it to life.” 

IPG was established in 2014 to acquire land in Alberta to specifically develop, construct, and connect solar photovoltaic projects into the Alberta electrical grid with the aim of selling that power into the Alberta market.  IPG currently has a 6.2 MW distribution-connected project under construction near the town of Irricanna, to be completed this year.

The SCEF’s other energy assets  

With the latest project, the SCEF's portfolio now comprises 78 clean energy assets in two provinces. It is broken down into 76 solar assets and two biogas facilities, which together total 41.887 MW; 184,000 tonnes in annual organic waste capacity; and 224,000 GJ in expected renewable natural gas production per year. Together, these assets have a total expected annual generation of 119,691.48 mW-h.

In August, SustainableBiz reported on the SCEF’s acquisition of a biogas facility in Lethbridge, Alta. via the purchase of Lethbridge Biogas LP and shares in Lethbridge Biogas General Partner Inc. That acquisition marked the SCEF’s first outside of Ontario.

The facility, in operation since 2013, is expected to convert 120,000 tonnes of organic waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) annually. In its first year, that organic waste is forecast to translate to 280,000 GJ of RNG.

This is equivalent to 78 million kW-h – which a release at the time stated would provide electricity to 12,174 homes for one year.

Matt Kennedy, an associate director for Skyline Energy, had mentioned the pursuit of solar assets in Alberta in conversation with SustainableBiz. Those two energy assets are the SCEF’s core strategy for the time being.

“Right now we’ve focused mainly on solar and on biogas. That’s really where our expertise lies,” he said at the time. “We feel there’s a lot of growth potential in both those spaces. Solar is really picking up again in the Ontario market. It’s been booming in Alberta for a few years here now.”

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