Guidelines for Renewable Energy Operations

Guidelines help those who run renewable energy operations (REOs) develop and maintain conservation and reclamation plans for their projects.


The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) requires operators to conserve and reclaim specified land. Reclamation certificates are issued when a site has been successfully reclaimed.

On private land, REO operators must maintain updated conservation and reclamation plans. Industry is required to provide landowners / occupants with copies of all conservation and reclamation information.

Find out more about the process at: Conservation and Reclamation Directive for Renewable Energy Operations.

Professional sign off

On private lands, operators of REOs require professional signoff for the development and updating of:

  • conservation and reclamation plans
  • required assessments
  • the reclamation certificate application(s)

When an REO is no longer operational, the operator completes the necessary assessments and applies to the Alberta government for a reclamation certificate. Reclamation certificate applications include analyses and reports detailing how any contamination (if present) and surface reclamation issues were addressed.

Further information on requirements for professional sign off for reclamation certification can be found at:

Reclamation criteria

After an REO has been decommissioned and reclaimed, it will be assessed.

Reclamation criteria is available for 4 land-use types:

The criteria allow for a flexible approach to simple-site assessment. But assessments will be more complex for difficult sites.

How the criteria have changed

The criteria, as updated in 2010, place greater emphasis on:

  • assessing crop productivity on cultivated land
  • re-establishing native ecosystems on forest, grassland and peatland sites

More about assessments

Assessment of an REO includes a reclamation inquiry that involves the:

  • Alberta government
  • landowner
  • operator

Following the issuance of a reclamation certificate, REOs have a 5-year liability period for surface reclamation issues (topography, vegetation, soil texture, drainage, etc.) and a lifetime liability for contamination. Complaints if substantiated within these timeframes may lead to enforcement actions that can include the cancellation of a reclamation certificate.

Additional guidelines

Some related guidelines about reclamation for REOs can be found at: