In 2020, ATCO engaged with the Montana First Nation on a project to build a 5MW community photovoltaic solar facility which is interconnected with the Alberta Electric System and is the first of its kind to be built on reserve status land.
ATCO was the key proponent for the engineering design, procurement and construction of all of the high voltage (HV) aspects of the facility including the interconnection with the local distribution facility owner, Fortis. The HV interconnection also includes SCADA and telecom connections.
In speaking with Chief Leonard Standingontheroad, he shared, “The Montana community is very proud of having this solar project in their land. It brings hope for a better future”. His reflections went on to explain how, even at this early stage, the whole community is hoping this project will bring financial stability to the Montana First Nation. Beyond financial benefits, the solar project has increased understanding and education of renewable energy within the community, compelling community members to take action in learning more. Chief Leonard pointed out that many younger members of his community felt inspired by this project and are making empowering life-changing decisions to pursue studies in the field of renewables as a result of their exposure to the solar project. He added that he would like to continue to identify other similar opportunities through a mutually beneficial Relationship Agreement with ATCO.