Alberta to Support 5,000 MW of Additional Renewable Energy Capacity

Alberta to Support 5,000 MW of Additional Renewable Energy Capacity

September 23, 2016

To achieve its goal of having 30% of electricity used in Alberta come from wind, hydro and solar sources by 2030, the province expects to support 5,000 megawatts of additional capacity at a cost of $10.5 billion or more.

“Growing our renewables sector is a transformational opportunity for Alberta to become a more energy-efficient, lower-carbon province,” says Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. “These targets provide clarity for Albertans… and will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our economy.”

The minimum $10.5 billion in new investment will mean at least 7,200 new jobs as projects are built. Through the Renewable Electricity Program, the province will solicit enough investment in Alberta’s electricity system to meet the target, while ensuring projects come online in a way that does not impact grid reliability and is cost-effective. The program will be run by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

To be eligible for support within the Renewable Electricity Program, projects must

• be based in Alberta

• be new or expanded

• be five megawatts or greater in size

• meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources

Further details on how the program will operate will be released later this year.

The program will be based on recommendations provided to government by the Alberta Electric System Operator. The operator completed stakeholder consultations earlier this year to help inform its recommendations to government.

The province is now working with AESO on detailed program design and remains on target to release details of the program in the coming months. Work is also underway to improve Alberta’s rules around smaller-scale electricity generation, including micro-generation.

The province is engaging expert stakeholders on ways to make it easier for individual Albertans and communities to create their own renewable energy. Alberta’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel, led by Dr. David Wheeler, is also consulting with Albertans as part of the panel’s work to develop recommendations on energy efficiency and small-scale electricity generation programs. These programs will be offered through the newly created Energy Efficiency Alberta organization and will be in place early in 2017.

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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