A solar project planned in partnership between a developer and the Town of Oyen will be challenged by a landowner in regulatory proceedings this fall.

The Alberta Utility Commission announced Wednesday it will conduct a written hearing on the Oyen Community Solar Project, a proposed 15-megawatt solar array to be 2.5 kilometres from the town.

Filings show that adjacent landowner Kelly Marshall is objecting to the industrial nature of the land use, and argues it should be set aside for residential development. The solar farm would disturb neighbours as well as a grouse population in the area, he argues.

Submissions from registered intervenors are due on Nov. 29, with the company’s deadline to respond set for Dec. 6.

A redacted agreement between the the town and Community Partners (the developer) states that a profit-sharing model would forward a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $110,000 per year to the municipality.

The community solar grant program was announced in late 2018 with the aim of aiding small-scale generation projects.

It offers up to $500,000 in grant funding toward projects that include partnerships involving municipalities, non-profit groups, ag societies, grazing or local economic development co-ops or irrigation districts.

Power line work on hold

AltaLink is asking regulators to extend construction deadlines for upgrades to the power grid in southeast Alberta since new renewable projects that necessitated the work haven’t yet been built.

The company completed the Whitla to Bowmanton transmission line in 2016 to secure service levels and prepare for bringing several large wind-power production facilities online.

This month though, the company received approval to delay upgrades to the Bowmanton Substation, northeast of Medicine Hat, by extending permits from this later this year until mid-2022.

Altalink is also applying to extend permit dates for the planned Elkwater 264S Switching Station and plans to alter lines from Elkwater to the Eagle Butte 274S Substation.

Altalink as well received extensions to complete tie-in facilities for the proposed WildRose Wind Farms until 2022. Those projects as well received timeline extensions this fall as the owner considers business case and seeks contracts.

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