Proposed solar farm in a secret location near the airport

Proposed solar farm in a secret location near the airport

A battery storage facility is planned for McNabb St.

The exact location has not been disclosed, but south of Base Line near the airport, a Connecticut-based private equity investment firm wants to build a 445-hectare (1,100-acre) hybrid energy facility.

Starwood Energy Group, which says it has raised more than $3 trillion in equity capital, will seek preliminary support for the Sault facility from a shiny new city with a new mayor and four new councilors fresh off a municipal election.

In part to help boost energy demand for Algoma Steel’s two new electric arc furnaces, Starwood’s proposal includes a 300 megawatt solar farm and 600 megawatts of battery storage capacity.

But Starwood doesn’t want you to know the exact location it has in mind.

“At this preliminary point in the process, Starwood Energy Group has indicated that specifically identifying the subject properties may be detrimental to the overall success of the project,” says city planning director Peter Tonazzo.

“If this project succeeds in obtaining IESO [Independent Electricity System Operator] approvals, local land use approvals would be required before any development could occur,” Tonazzo says in the report prepared by Mayor Matthew Shoemaker and neighborhood councilors.

Starwood proposes to build a seven-mile transmission line to a PUC substation at the east end of Yates Avenue.

“Starwood has indicated that it is currently exploring various avenues for connection and that consultations with community stakeholders will be part of the process to determine the final transmission path,” Tonazzo said.

A slide deck prepared for Monday’s council meeting states, in bold and underlined: “The project currently has the support of PUC Inc. and First Nations.”

Tonazzo’s report to the city states, “By regulation, the PUC is required to be neutral and must connect IESO projects to the grid.”

“The final nameplate size of the facility will primarily be driven by negotiated lease agreements and the amount of available land,” Starwood says in its pitch.

McNabb Street battery storage facility

Meanwhile, in an unrelated matter, councilors will be asked to provide similar support for a battery energy storage facility on McNabb St near South Market and Trunk Road, a smaller battery facility owned by PUC Distribution Inc. on the same site.

That app is from Alectra Energy Solutions, in partnership with Convergent Energy + Power.

“The proposed storage facility at 885R McNabb St. is intended to have 20 megawatts of power and 60 megawatt hours of four-hour energy capacity,” Tonazzo says.

“The proposed facility would be a series of prefabricated structures containing the equipment.”

“According to Alectra, the proposed development will cover 2,787 square meters, subject to IESO approvals. The facility will connect to the existing electrical infrastructure, located on the property to the north of the proposed facility.”

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