Hanna Community Solar Project

H3M Environmental Key Services

  • Environmental pre-development planning – including constraints analysis and facility siting
  • Environmental field assessments – including watercourse and wetland assessments, rare plant and weed surveys, soil assessments, wildlife and avian assessments and historical resources
    • High-level wildlife assessments include spring and fall avian migration surveys and breeding bird surveys. These were conducted to evaluate avian use within and surrounding the HCSSP.
    • Site specific wildlife surveys were conducted based on HCSSP’s location within sensitive species ranges and included Sensitive Raptor Range, Burrowing Owl Range and Sharp-tailed Grouse Survey.
    • Watercourses and wetland were also assessed for suitable wildlife habitat and classified and delineated to determine setback constraints
  • Environmental reporting – encompassing baseline summary reporting to support the AEP Renewable Energy Submission Report
  • Consultation with project stakeholders – regulators, private landowners, industrial developers, and the general public
  • Acquire all applicable environmental permits and approvals

Project Overview

PACE Canada LP (PACE) propose the construction of a photovoltaic (PV) solar power electrical generation project and associated grid infrastructure at the Sheerness Coal Plant, just west of Sheerness, Alberta. PACE is a partnership between Pathfinder Clean Energy, a UK Solar developer and SWITCH Power Corporation (SWITCH), an Alberta Based IPP. The Hanna Community Solar (Sheerness) Project (HCSSP) is located approximately 34 km south of the Town of Hanna, Alberta and is within the Special Areas subdivision of Special Area No. 2. The project will be located on reclaimed freehold land, historically mined for coal and currently being cultivated, within the southwest quarter of section 1, township 29, range 13, W4M. The proposed development will be approximately 30.35 ha in size and will have a capacity of 13 MW, consisting of approximately 1,070 solar panels.

Project Goals

H3M was contracted to conduct an environmental review for the HCSSP, as outlined by The Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Projects. The completion of the required field studies and desktop reviews are necessary to address the requirements detailed in the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) Consultation, Rule 007, Section 3.2 – Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations and Hydro Developments (AUC, 2019).

Roles and Responsibilities

H3M is the prime environmental contractor and is responsible for collecting all relevant pre-disturbance environmental information, in accordance with the applicable provincial and federal environmental requirements. H3M also provided route refinement support to ultimately avoid, where feasible, all environmentally sensitive features including, but not limited to, unstable terrain, erodible soils, wetlands, watercourses, riparian and critical habitat, rare plants and animals, and Historical Resources (i.e., archaeological and paleontological).