Canada Unveils the Travers Solar Project
Global warming continues to pose a huge threat to our planet, and a major contributor to the increase in temperature is our electricity consumption. Approximately 40% of global carbon emissions are generated by the electricity generation sector. And as climate change gets worse, the demand for electricity used for air conditioning and heating will also rise, leading to a destructive cycle. Darren Christie, the chief economist for the Canada Energy Regulator, comments that it’s time for coal generation to be phased out, and for a new era of renewable energy to take place. The Travers Solar Project is an excellent step towards said era.
The Travers Solar Project
Travers Solar is currently under construction in southern Alberta and is to be completed by the end of next year. The $750 million-dollar ongoing project promises to provide an economic boost to the region and promises to produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. Travers Solar spans a massive 3,300 acres or 13.35 square kilometers of land, which is roughly equivalent to 1,600 Canadian Football League fields. It’s by far the largest solar project ever attempted in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Additionally, the project is receiving funding from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
It’s also expected to create more than 1000 jobs at the peak of its construction, according to Dan Balaban, co-founder and CEO of Greengate, the company developing and managing the project. He emphasized the importance of utilizing the country’s many renewable resources, such as its constant sunshine and onshore wind. And, in particular, solar power is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the world, making it one of the more accessible green energy options.
Specifics of the Solar Farm
Solar panels collect light from the sun and convert it to energy, but these panels come with a specific feature. The Travers Solar Project’s panels can follow the sun as it moves across the sky as they’re equipped with specific component parameters that allow the machine to track sunlight and tilt in its direction. This means it can gather sufficient energy even when the weather isn’t at its sunniest. Though aside from this feature, these panels work like any other solar power system. The panels are primarily comprised of solar cells, which can conduct electricity, and an inverter, which converts the harvested energy into usable power. This is then stored in batteries or used by homeowners.
The project is predicted to generate clean energy for over its 35+ year lifetime. And while a solar farm requires a relatively high initial investment, it can drastically lower electricity bills, prevent outages, and of course, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. E-commerce and tech giant Amazon has also been reported to sign into an agreement with the project, purchasing 400 out of the 465 MW capacity to be produced upon its completion. Amazon is working towards its ambition to power 100% of company activities with renewable energy by 2025.
Travers Solar is only one of the many projects around the globe that are seeking to modernize electric consumption as we know it. That said, we can anticipate that the world will continue to move towards more sustainable energy resources. Enterprises and homeowners alike are starting to utilize both solar energy and wind energy for different purposes, and this will impact our climate crisis positively.