Why Fort Chipewyan Is The Leading Light For Canada’s Solar Future

Canada’s plan to hit net zero emissions by 2050 begins with the adoption of renewable energy and technology. Prominent provinces are doing their bit by generating a large portion of their energy from renewable resources. Meanwhile, remote areas are pulling quite a bit of the weight as well.

In fact, the country’s largest off-grid solar project sits in one of the remote communities in northeast Alberta.

The community of Fort Chipewyan, also referred to as Fort Chip, has become the leading light in Canada’s journey toward a green economy. Let’s learn how.

Fort Chipewyan’s Journey To Solar Power

The Fort Chipewyan community, which holds about a thousand residents within its borders, received all its energy from diesel power station until recently. The process would consume millions of litres of diesel.

The shift to renewable resources eventually came, and it was no mean feat.

Located some 200-odd kilometres from the urban service area of Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan saw truckloads of diesel come through extremely tough terrain. In fact, during summers, accessibility to the community relied solely on air and barge transportation. With the passage of time, and as climate change made Canada’s northern regions increasingly warmer, the terrain became even more inaccessible.

As need ushered in the development of the solar project, which saw a grand opening in November last year, over 5,000 solar panels were installed to generate power. These are expected to fulfill almost 25 per cent of the community’s power needs.