Calgary

Amazon unveils plan for major solar power project in southern Alberta

Online retail giant Amazon announced Monday that its first renewable energy investment in Canada will be built in Newell County east of Calgary. 

Project to produce more than 195,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy

Amazon announced Monday its first renewable energy investment in Canada, an 80 MW solar project in Newell County in Alberta. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

Online retail giant Amazon announced Monday its first renewable energy investment in Canada will be built in Newell County east of Calgary. 

The 80 MW solar project will produce over 195,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy to the grid "or enough energy to power more than 18,000 Canadian homes for a year," the company said in a release. 

"Amazon's announcement … is the largest known solar virtual power purchase agreement in Canada. This transaction expands Amazon's leadership as a corporate buyer of renewable energy into Canada and is further evidence of the growth and viability of the Canadian renewables market," said Rebecca Nadel, director of the Business Renewables Centre, which is part of the Pembina Institute. 

This announcement is part of a global rollout of new projects including others in the United States, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Amazon says the projects will make it the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in Europe, with more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity — enough to power more than two million European homes a year. 

"All of these projects put Amazon on a path to power 100 per cent of its activities with renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of the original target of 2030," the release said. 

According to a map of its new projects released by Amazon, the Alberta solar project will be built near Lathom, about 10 kilometres southeast of Bassano and just south of the Trans-Canada Highway.

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