By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Coaldale town council has started taking steps to become a potential home for an alternative energy facility.
During Coaldale town council’s regular May 28 meeting, town CAO Kalen Hastings reported received an update from the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA).
“I’ll try not to sound too much like a weather reporter on a teleprompter, but we did get an information update from SAEWA, on where they’re at, as well as an idea in terms of next steps,” said Hastings. “This is an exciting next step, because they’re at a point now in their feasibility assessment, where they are now looking for potential host sites for expressions of interest, to see if we can meet their criteria, so they can evaluate the different host sites to see what the best match for the business plan is.”
Hastings asked if council if they wanted to submit an expression of interest to be a host site for the SAEWA facility.
Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig noted that council had already responded affirmatively to a request for interest to be the potential site host, and that an amendment to the town’s land-use bylaws allows for alternative energy production. He also noted that the expression of interest doesn’t mean they will get picked to be the host site, or even make the list.
“Like Kalen (Hastings) says, you have to go through an extensive matrix of criteria, and whatnot. So you’re sort of just putting up your hand, saying that you’re willing to get on the team, you’re not necessarily picked,” said Craig. “This is more then a waste energy plant, it’s a huge economic development.”
According to the SAEWA site specifications, the potential host site must be 300 meters away from a water body, eight kilometers away from an international airport or three kilometers away from a local airport, 200 meters away from a wetland and one kilometer away from residential and urban areas.
The potential site would also have to be a minimum of 10 acres, which Hastings said could potentially be in the town’s industrial park. Some clarification on other conditions would be sought.
Council passed a motion to express interest in being a potential host site for the SAEWA plant.