In 2022, Innisfail Town Council developed the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. As part of that plan, Council stated their wish for Innisfail to “Become an energy innovation centre”.
The Town of Innisfail has already made efforts to see this come to fruition. Below are some of the examples of how we are taking action to help push Innisfail to the forefront of the new-energy horizon.
Energy Futures Lab - Innisfail Energy Hub
The first IEH Workshop took place on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
An info sessionon Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Opportunities for Central Alberta took place on, Wednesday, Ocotber 26. 2022. Click here to view the recording.
More workshops and learning sessions are planned in the upcomings months and through the spring of 2023.
The Town looks forward to the outcomes of this unique approach to finding solutions to the community’s ever-growing energy needs.
Varme Energy - Waste-to-Energy Plant
Earlier this year, Innisfail Town Council was presented with an opportunity to take the steps involved in establishing a waste-to-energy facility in Innisfail. Representatives from Varme Energy, a leading developer in waste to energy and bioenergy projects in Canada, provided Town Council with an overview of the technologies involved. In June of 2022, Council signed a letter of intent which serves as a commitment to learn more about the opportunity this projects presents for the town.
The waste-to-energy process involves incinerating waste — including the solid household waste collected by most municipalities — and converting it to electricity. The technology used to achieve this is already in use in other jurisdictions in Europe.
On August 25, 2022, the Town hosted a waste-to-energy information session at the Innisfail Library Learning Centre. Representatives from Varme Energy spoke to the audience and answered questions about the potential for a waste-to-energy facility in Innisfail. The facility would serve the larger central Alberta community.
The process towards development of this facility is currently ongoing. For more information on Varme Energy, visit their website (click here).
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of odours will the facility produce?
The facility will stockpile 1-2 weeks worth of waste at a time which will be stored inside an enclosed loading bay – meaning there is no odour exposure for the surrounding area.
How much money will taxpayers have to pay for this facility?
The development and construction of the facility will not require public funding, so long as the right commercial agreements can be put together. It will be financed through private equity and debt. A project of this scale in Innisfail will actually generate considerable tax and land lease revenue for the town.
What are the health risks associated with having this facility in the community?
The direct emissions from the facility will be very similar to those already operating in Europe where they safely fall under the EU emissions regulations – which are generally speaking, more stringent than Canada’s current regulations.
Who will be able to work at the facility? Does it require specialized staff from outside of the community?
This facility will create several full-time skilled labour, operator, and maintenance positions as well as many trades jobs throughout the construction process.
Does the facility run around the clock, and if so how much noise does it produce?
Yes, the facility will run 24/7 for most of the year – this is key for producing a baseline output of energy. Since the facility will be located in the town’s southwest industrial area, residents should not be affected by noise associated with the operation.
Municipal Solar Farm - SW Industrial Area
Town of Innisfail Administration has completed the assessment process for the feasibility of a municipally-owned solar development within the SW Industrial Park. At the September 12, 2022 meeting, Town Council approved the next phases of development of the proposed SW Industrial Park Solar Farm development.
The capacity of the Project will be between 1.5-2MW. The power generated will either supplied to the energy grid, or could potentially be used by a future partner within the town’s new SoutWest Industrial Area.
More detial on this projects will be provided as development continues.
Elemental Energy Inc. - Innisfail Solar Farm
Innisfail Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elemental Energy Inc., began operations of the Innisfail Solar Farm in July of 2020. Preliminary design and planning was provided by GP Joule and project construction began in late 2019. Mechanical work was completed in June 2020.
The construction project saw the creation of approximately 75 jobs at its peak. Approximately 80% of the labourers employed during construction were from Innisfail and Red Deer County, and over 95% were from Alberta.
The plant is housed on a 115-acre parcel of land owned by the Town of Innisfail. The site features solar panels which are expected to generate 25.3 MWdc of solar-generated power.
This project will benefit the town through a long-term lease, property taxes, and a community development fund. The total of these contributions will be approximately $190,000 annually, $20,000 of which will be an annual contribution to a community development fund which will be used to support community groups.
Town of Innisfail: Energy Policy 2022-005
On May 9, 2022, the Town of Innisfail officially enacted Energy Policy 2022-005.
The purpose of this policy was to “reduce the energy consumption and ecological footprint of the organization and the community through a collaborative effort to increase education, awareness, and understanding of energy management.”
The Town continues to integrate new energy technologies and practices to reduce its energy consumption. One such example is the solar panels that were installed at the Town Office in 2018. To read the Town’s Energy Policy, click here.