About ATCO

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  • Delivering Renewable Energy to Remote Communities

    A Look at Fort Chip: Canada’s Largest Off-Grid Solar and Storage Community

    Providing our customers with sustainable energy solutions is incredibly important to us, wherever they may be located.

    We serve many communities located hundreds of kilometres from the main electrical grid over a vast geographic area in northern Alberta and Canada’s North – communities that have relied on costly and carbon-intensive isolated diesel-powered generation for decades.

    In 2017, we initiated a program to interconnect these communities to the grid where possible. But for places like Fort Chipewyan in Northern Alberta, where a grid connection was just not possible, we fundamentally shifted our approach.

    Partnering to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Working closely together with the local Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125, we began construction in 2018 on an initial 600-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system to integrate with the existing diesel generation system. This greener solution was successfully energized in the late summer of 2019.

    But the partnership doesn’t end there. A second project that includes an Indigenous-owned 2,200 kilowatt solar farm, with a utility-owned battery energy storage system and microgrid control system, is planned for 2020.

    Together, these two projects will achieve 800,000 litres of annual diesel savings, a roughly 25 per cent reduction, and will help minimize emissions and reduce the risks associated with transporting diesel to the area.

    Learn more about our Fort Chipewyan project and renewable microgrids in isolated communities, that integrate solar or wind power with existing diesel generation systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

    Energization Day
    Hesam Yazdanpanahi, Gabriel Betancur, and Matthew Wright celebrate energization in late summer 2019.