Another clean energy project is coming to the Heartland.
 
On Tuesday (Nov.9), Silicon Ranch and Shell Canada announced plans to build a 58-megawatt solar farm next to the Shell Scotford plant in Fort Saskatchewan.
 
The solar farm will be the first large-scale solar installation in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. Once constructed, the project will generate 20 per cent of the refinery’s energy needs.
 
“We are transforming Scotford into a world-class site that will provide our customers with lower-carbon fuels and the products they desire,” said Mark Pattenden, Shell Canada senior vice president, chemicals and products, in a news release. “Partnerships like this will enable Scotford to contribute to Shell’s overall plan to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.”
 
Silicon Ranch, the North American solar platform for Shell, will build, own, and operate the solar farm. This will also be the companies first project in Canada. They’re currently one of the United States’ largest independent renewable power producers with 150 operating facilities across more than 15 states.
 
“Shell’s commitment to purchase the power from our facility will catalyse our own significant capital investment in Strathcona County, creating hundreds of local jobs during construction and generating critical tax revenues over the life of the project,” wrote Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch co-founder and CEO.
 
Construction on the project will begin in 2022, with the solar farm is expected to start providing electricity to the refinery by the end of 2023.

The announcement comes as Shell moves to lower its carbon footprint.
 
Last November, the Scotford site was selected to pursue net-zero emissions. In July, the refinery proposed the Polaris carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which would have the capacity to store 300-million tonnes of carbon over its lifetime and capture emissions from the Shell Scotford refinery.