EDF Renewables, Canada have announced the signing of a 20-year Renewable Electricity Support Agreement (RESA) with the Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO) for the renewable attributes related to the 201.6-MW Cypress Wind project.
The contract, secured through Round 2 of the Renewable Electricity Program’s (REP2) competitive procurement process managed by the AESO on behalf of the Alberta Government, represents a partnership between EDF Renewables, Canada, and the Blood Tribe — a Native Tribe with a population of about 12,800.
Cypress Wind is located on approximately 11,400 acres of privately owned land southeast of Medicine Hat, in Cypress County, Alberta, in the Traditional Territory of the Blood Tribe.
Once fully operational in 2021, the electricity generated at full capacity will power up to 100,000 average Alberta homes. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020, following the receipt of all required provincial and municipal approvals and permits.
“EDF Renewables is honored to partner with the Blood Tribe and support their tradition of turning innovative economic development strategies into sustainable businesses like the Cypress Wind Project,” said David Warner, Development Manager for EDF Renewables Canada. “In the past year, the Cypress Wind Project team engaged with community members, local government officials and local businesses to make sure that the final design was socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. Our goal is to minimize potential impacts to the environment, local stakeholders and Indigenous communities and to bring important economic opportunities to the Blood Tribe and Alberta businesses.”
Chief Roy Fox of the Blood Tribe praised the opportunity for his Nation to participate in the Cypress Wind Project, “For more than 70 years, the Blood Tribe of southern Alberta has played a key role in the success of Alberta’s energy sector. Our Reserve is Canada’s largest and these unique and diverse lands and associated natural resources have historically attracted many Alberta industries.”
He added: “The wind and solar resources over the Blood Tribe Traditional and Ancestral Lands are similarly attractive to the renewable energy industry and it is time we participated actively in their development instead of watching from the sidelines. The REP2 Indigenous Community participation requirement provided the opportunity to own a renewable energy facility in partnership with a world-class developer. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with EDF Renewables in the Cypress Wind Project.”
Indigena Capital, LP, an investment firm specializing in partnering exclusively with Tribal Nations in the U.S. and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, acted as the technical, transaction, and financial partner to the Blood Tribe in respect of the REP2 program.