Government’s electricity plan hopes to spur investment and create jobs

Above: Shannon Phillips, Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, speaks at the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s annual conference and tradeshow. – GOA Photo

by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta government says it will set clear timelines for developing renewable electricity, including wind and solar, along with a competitive bidding process administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

The government announced Thursday the Renewable Electricity Program would add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030, something it says will put Alberta on a path to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by that time.

“This program is built on the recommendations from the AESO, who studied jurisdictions around the world to come up with the best possible program design in the interests of Albertans‎,” said Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd in a release Thursday. “This process will be competitive and transparent and will provide renewable electricity we need at the lowest possible price. The program will also complement the coal phase-out to ensure system reliability is maintained at all times.”

The government says it will introduce the Renewable Electricity Act soon, an act the province says will reinforce Alberta’s commitment to the “30 by ’30” target and provide the legislative framework for the Renewable Electricity Program.

The successful projects will be privately funded and will result in new investment of at least $10.5 billion into the Alberta economy by 2030, with at least 7,200 jobs created for Albertans.

The first competition will see investors bidding to provide up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity. That competition is to take place in 2017.

Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association believes Thursday’s announcement will attract significant interest from the wind energy industry.

DC

“Alberta can expect to see billions of dollars of new investment and thousands of jobs created with significant economic benefits for local communities as it works to reduce the carbon intensity of its electricity grid,” he said.

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