When U.K. based Temporis Developments, a renewable energy company that develops wind, solar, hydro and bio-energy projects, decided it was time to enter the Canadian market, Alberta was a natural location to set up shop. Calgary Economic Development worked with Temporis to find the right location for their expanding global business, and in late 2017, Temporis Developments set up a permanent office in downtown Calgary.
Not long after, Temporis Developments found a home for their 20-megawatt solar facility just an hour north of downtown Calgary in Innisfail. Recently, Innisfail’s town council approved a 26-year land lease with Innisfail Solar Corp. for the future development of the 100 acres solar farm on town-owned land.
The Innisfail union is a business collaboration between Temporis and local entrepreneur, Robert Bilton. The land was originally purchased by the town for an expansion of residential and commercial property, but ultimately was unviable for that purpose. Taking the land from empty to a renewable energy project will give it value. Not just in the local energy sector (it will be only the second project of its kind in Alberta), but direct value to the town through revenue and indirectly through contracts to local companies.
“Of the expected $24 million it will cost to build, several millions will go to local companies. Once the project is built, the value of the land will increase one hundred-fold,” says Robbie Donaldson, managing director of Temporis Developments in Calgary.
While Temporis continues to check things off their to-do list, like acquiring permits and completing grid work, they work securing financing and hope to collaborate with other towns to find similar projects.
“We are chomping at the bit ready to go. It has been quite a long time. It’s great we are finally here. We are keen to get going and starting the project,” said Donaldson, who was at council’s regular meeting on April 23 when the option to lease agreement was approved. “It’s really the landowner and the developer confirming they are both committed to wanting to see this project happen.
“The most important relationship in these types of projects is with the landowner. In this instance the landowner is the town of Innisfail,” he added. “You are going to be a partner with that stakeholder for the entire life of the project. As a community, Innisfail is working towards being more forward focused and progressive, adding innovation to its brand. We are excited to work with this town towards an energy future that benefits everyone.