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World’s-largest airport solar farm arriving at EIA

Alpin Sun to build 627-acre facility on west-side of airport lands.

July 7, 2020 (Edmonton, AB) – Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is welcoming a new large-scale investment that will create the largest airport-based solar farm in the world. 

Airport City Solar will dramatically transform the west-side of EIA’s lands, create jobs and bring in a potential new power source for airport operations and the Edmonton Metro Region. An agreement with Alpin Sun will see the company develop a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm. All available information shows this will be largest development of its kind at an airport anywhere in the world. The new solar farm reflects EIA’s on-going commitment to economic development and diversification, along with its core value of being dedicated to sustainability.

The European-based company, Alpin Sun, is a global developer of utility scale renewable projects and is proposing to locate Airport City Solar on land leased on the west side of the EIA.  Airport City Solar is expected to begin construction in early 2022 and be operational by the end of the year. The project will bring in an estimated $169 million in foreign direct investment to the Edmonton Metro Region. Power generated by Airport City Solar will feed into Fortis Alberta and airport distribution systems.

“One of our core principles is being dedicated to sustainability. With Airport City Solar and Alpin Sun we’re creating something the whole world will notice. We’re Canada’s largest airport by land size so we have the space to do something very special – the largest solar farm at an airport in the world. This will create jobs, provide sustainable solar power for our region and shows our dedication to sustainability.”

– Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport.

Quick facts about Airport City Solar:

  • Construction will employ 120 workers for a year, with up to 250 workers at its peak
  • The 120Mwh facility will generate approximately 200,000 MWh per year
  • Alpin Sun estimates that annual production of 200,000 MWh will result in an annual offset of an estimated 106,000 tonnes of CO2.
  • Airport City Solar will consist of approximately 340,000 solar panels 
  • The facility will produce enough electricity to power between 27,000-28,000 homes
  • The facility area of 627 acres will equal roughly 313 CFL football fields
  • The panels will be constructed in two main groupings
    • East grouping will be 367 acres that would accommodate 72 MW
    • West grouping will be 259 acres that would accommodate 48 MW

“It has been a pleasure working with EIA Vice-President Myron Keehn and Director Geoff Herdman to bring this opportunity to the EIA, and their support was key to our location decision.”

– Adrian Ioance, Vice President of Alpin Sun 

“We want to add to Alberta’s recovery momentum and be in a position by 2022 to not only support existing industries and communities in the area but also serve as a catalyst for new investment in advanced technology and logistics.”

– Fred Null, Director of Project Development, Alpin Sun 

“This fully private-sector investment in the world’s largest airport solar farm will create hundreds of jobs and represents an investment of nearly $170 million. The project, when combined with other recent exciting investments in renewables, shows that Alberta is the most attractive place in Canada to invest, not just in renewable energy, but across all sectors of the economy.” 

– Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

“Leduc County welcomes Alpin-Sun to the region. Within Leduc County, EIA is a regional leader in diversification and innovation. Alpin-Sun will not only bring business diversification, but new development and employment opportunities to Leduc County residents and the region.” 

– Tanni Doblanko, Mayor of Leduc County 

“This exciting project demonstrates the growing role of solar energy in Alberta’s economy. Private sector investments like this show the strength of Alberta’s solar resource across much of the province, including in and around Edmonton. EIA is demonstrating leadership by harnessing the competitive economics of solar to establish the airport and surrounding transportation corridors as a hub for the solar value chain in this part of North America. This bodes well for jobs and economic benefits in the region well into the future.”

– Benjamin Thibault, Executive Director, Solar Alberta 

“EIA runs one of the world’s most innovative airports and in recent years has attracted more than $1 billion in investment and thousands of quality jobs through Airport City and economic diversification. Alpin Sun’s major investment combined with EIA’s focus on innovation will create significant value for airlines. Welcome to our region Alpin Sun, we look forward to seeing this investment begin construction.” 

– Malcom Bruce, CEO Edmonton Global

EIA is dedicated to sustainability and continuing its record of environmental initiatives. Other examples of how EIA supports environmental sustainability see:

Over the next year, the Alpin Sun team will conduct extensive studies and seek approvals from the required local, provincial and federal regulatory agencies, including NAV Canada. Field Law of Edmonton assists Alpin Sun on legal matters related to this project and others in Alberta, and DNV-GL of Calgary assists on environmental studies and permitting.  Colliers International – Edmonton’s YEG Team, led by Evelyn Stolk & Rod Connop as well as Colliers International – Philadelphia brokered this transaction.

About Edmonton International Airport

Edmonton International Airport is a self-funded, not-for-profit corporation whose mandate is to drive economic prosperity for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. EIA is Canada’s fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and the largest major Canadian airport by land area. EIA offers non-stop connections to destinations across Canada, the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. EIA is a major economic driver; in 2019, EIA had an economic output of more than $3.2 billion, supporting over 26,000 jobs. EIA’s Airport City propels new jobs, tourism and economic diversification – and creates a destination in and around EIA, featuring entertainment, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, cargo/logistics, bio-pharma, light manufacturing and many other industries. EIA is focused on digital strategy to ensure it becomes the airport of the future. For more information, please visit: flyeia.com, follow @flyeia on TwitterInstagramLinkedin or Facebook.

About Alpin Sun

Alpin Sun is a European based renewable energy company active in the development, construction, operation, and ownership of solar projects across the globe.  During its 10-year history, the company has been involved in four gigawatts of solar projects in Europe, Chile, Canada, and the USA.

Alpin Sun performs engineering-procurement-construction (EPC) work in Europe and focuses on project development in the USA and Canada. The North American portfolio, to date, comprises three gigawatt of solar sites spread among the electric service territories of ERCOT (Texas), SPP (Texas), PJM (mid-Atlantic USA), and AESO (Alberta) with more than one gigawatt currently under construction or in preparation for construction.

Alpin Sun’s development pipeline serves as an investment platform for institutional investors, independent power producers (non-utility generators), and utilities by providing high-quality projects designed with state-of-the-art technology for top economic performance.

Media Contact: 

Chris Chodan, EIA   
c: 780 700 3596 
e: cchodan@flyeia.com

Adrian Ioance, 
Alpin Sun, Vice-President Business Development
c: +1 888 963 8033
e: adrian.ioance@alpin-sun.de

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