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Renewable electricity plan to create jobs, spur investment

The Alberta government will set clear timelines for developing renewable electricity like wind and solar, and a competitive bidding process structured to limit costs.

Minister Shannon Phillips at the Canadian Wind Energy Association

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

The Renewable Electricity Program will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 using a competitive process, administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). This 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. 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.”

Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy

“Through the Climate Leadership Plan, Alberta is again leading the way — taking action on reducing emissions while diversifying our economy and creating jobs. The Renewable Electricity Program is a key part of our plan, increasing the amount of renewable energy as we transition to greener electricity.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office

The government will also soon introduce the Renewable Electricity Act, which 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. The AESO will gather feedback from industry on draft commercial terms starting on Nov. 10, and before the first competition takes place in 2017. Successful projects will be financially supported by reinvesting a portion of carbon revenues from large industrial emitters. In addition, safeguards will be in place to ensure that the process is fair and transparent.

“As the AESO built our recommendations for government, we were keenly aware of ensuring that competitive outcomes drive the best result for the province. Reaching 5,000 megawatts of new renewable generation is a complex task, but we are confident we can reliably integrate this much renewable energy into the electricity system in a cost-effective manner by accessing the benefits of robust competition.”

David Erickson, President and Chief Executive Officer, AESO

“As investment in renewable energy in Canada is growing rapidly, Alberta has been largely on the sidelines in this key part of the future energy supply, so we are pleased to see policy that provides the long-term certainty and stability that encourages global and local companies to invest. Calgary is a centre of innovation across the entire spectrum of energy resources and growth in renewables is a key element of our 10-year-economic strategy Building on our Energy to expand the economy and diversify our key industries.”

Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development

“The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) applauds Alberta’s leadership and its decision to legislate its 30 per cent renewable energy target. Alberta is now Canada’s largest market for new wind energy investment and the clarity provided by today’s announcement on the future process and timing of renewable energy procurement will attract significant interest from the wind energy industry.  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.”

Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association

“Our members are excited for the opportunity to work in renewable energy. The Province’s plan is an excellent way to create jobs for the province while diversifying the economy of Alberta. We have over 1,200 members that are trained and ready to work in the renewable energy industry. Renewable energy projects in wind and solar, have created employment in the USA and other parts of Canada. We are looking forward to do our part to move Alberta forward in the fight against climate change.”

John White, Business Manager, IBEW Local 424

The Alberta government also approved the Climate Leadership Regulation, which provides details necessary for the administration of the carbon levy and exemptions for farmers, First Nations and others. Where possible, the regulation mirrors well-established processes for the provincial fuel-tax system.

Details on the administration of the levy, including how-to videos, are available online and will be updated as additional content becomes available.

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