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335 hectare solar farm proposed for area south of Merritt, Okanagan Connector

A large solar panel project is being proposed for an area about 50 kilometres southeast of Merritt and south of the Okanagan Connector.

Ontario-based Canadian Solar Inc.’s Aspen BC Solar Project Limited Partnership would see the development of a 335 hectare solar project which would provide roughly enough energy to power 20,000 homes annually in BC.

The proposed project would consist of solar panels, a battery storage system that could store up to 100 megawatts of energy each day, overhead transmission lines to connect the project to the BC Hydro power grid, and access roads.

The company is working alongside the Lower Nicola Indian Band to develop the project, which is expected to produce 200 gigawatts of power per year over a 40-year lifespan.

<who> Photo Credit: Canadian Solar Inc.’s Aspen BC Solar Project Limited Partnership

Currently, the project is going through the environmental assessment process, but on May 2, the province accepted the initial project description and community engagement plan.

“The early engagement phase of the environmental assessment process now begins, which identifies the key interests, issues and concerns of First Nations, stakeholders and the public,” says the province.

“This input helps inform the more detailed proposed project design, including the location of project infrastructure and alternative approaches to the project to address any concerns identified.”

More details on a public comment period is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Construction of the project is proposed to begin in spring of 2024 and it could be commissioned by 2025.

<who> Photo Credit: Canadian Solar Inc.’s Aspen BC Solar Project Limited Partnership



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