Red Deer County Council have cleared the way for a potential solar powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station near Queen Elizabeth II and Highway 42.
The area, about 20km south of Red Deer, was previously zoned for agriculture, but after a unanimous decision at a council meeting this week, it is now a zone as Business Service Industrial.
The change allows ION Charge Corp to build a standalone EV charging station on-site.
The site will include:
- A two MW solar farm with around 3,500 solar photovoltaic panels
- Six EV charging stations
- Electric data processing on-site for digital transactions
- Electric storage system
- A rest area
The proposed change only saw a single letter of concern and focused on glare from the solar panels, as well as the visual impact and the effect on farmland and natural habitats, according to RD News Now.
In response, the company confirmed the panels are already designed to limit glare, but would also complete a glare study.
Local farmers also supported the project however, who likened it to growing electricity instead of plants.
“I’m a farmer. I also harvest the sun with my plants. We’re growing plants but now we’re going to grow electricity instead,” said the Kaun family.
The company doesn’t expect a lot of traffic to the station once it gets built, estimating it will see just 13 EVs per day in the first few years of operation.
Senior Vice-President of ION Charge Corp, Ryan Tourigny, had this to say about the location:
This is the perfect place in Alberta. There is no better location. With easy access from all directions, off the highway, using the existing paved service road into the facility and then back on the highway for their journeys.
The project is not green-lit yet, however.
The next stage is the development permit, where ION Charge Corp will share its final design and the visual impact on the area.