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HomeNewsSunfield Energy attends open house on Plateau Feasibility Study in McLeese Lake

Sunfield Energy attends open house on Plateau Feasibility Study in McLeese Lake

About 30 people attended a community open house on Tuesday to learn more about a Kelowna based company proposing a study to determine if a solar project in the McLeese Lake area is feasible.

President of Sunfield Energy Inc., Ron Percival said they have applied for an investigative license to do a feasibility study as to whether or not a solar project would be technically and economically feasible on the land to the west of McLeese Lake.

“The site is elevated so it cannot be seen from any occupied residence and it’s in proximity to a number of transmission lines that could potentially interconnect it but those studies still have to be done,” he said. “But we can’t do any of those studies without an investigative license.”

If approved by the province for an investigative license, Percival said they will permanently install in the spring or summer a solar monitor that would have instruments to measure the irradiance of the sun and also wind speed, temperature, and humidity.

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He said they would also do studies on the ground including engineering and environmental studies, and added that they would need to consult with First Nations and stakeholders.

“We’re starting at the beginning of maybe a five-year process before we’ll know if there will be a solar project at McLeese Lake,” Percival says.

“In Alberta, projects are developing rapidly; there are about 700 MegaWatts have developed. In B.C there are 2 MegaWatts approximately, so we’re trying to change that a little bit and develop some of these world-class resources we have here or certainly best in Canada class,” he added. “It [McLeese Lake] has the raw potential pieces but we still don’t know if it will work.”

The open house was organized by CRD Electoral Area D Director Steve Forseth who said he believes it went fairly well and that community members got their questions answered.

“The next step at this point is just to await a decision of FLNRORD as to the investigative license,” Forseth said. “I’m fairly comfortable with the project. They clearly need to do data gathering to determine if it’s something that’s financially and technically feasible, so that obviously takes time to develop that data to generate the return in investment questions and what have you. So I think this was a great opportunity to get people to have their questions answered and we’ll see where it goes from here.”

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