Renewable Electricity Program

30% of Alberta’s electricity will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.

Overview

Alberta will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 as part of the Climate Leadership Plan to help replace coal-fired electricity generation with cleaner energy sources.

To meet this firm target, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is administering a competitive and transparent process for companies to bid on building renewable energy projects in our province.

The competitive process was designed to ensure new projects won't affect the reliability of our electricity grid and power is delivered at the lowest possible cost to consumers. Projects are required to connect to existing transmission or distribution infrastructure to avoid indirect costs to electricity consumers.

Successful projects will be privately funded and supported by reinvesting a portion of carbon revenues from large industrial emitters.

The need to develop these resources will continue as demand for energy rises in Alberta. Since 1996, peak demand has increased by over 4,000 megawatts (MW), and the population has increased by 1.3 million. Both are expected to rise even more in the years to come.

Renewable sources

Renewable energy comes from a source that is naturally occurring and replenishes after use, and includes:

  • geothermal
  • hydro
  • solar
  • sustainable biomass
  • wind

Rounds 2 and 3

The competition for the second and third rounds of the program are underway to provide a total of 700 megawatts of renewable electricity - enough to power nearly 300,000 homes.

The second round will see private-sector partnerships with Indigenous communities to produce up to 300 megawatts of power. Each bid must include a minimum 25% Indigenous equity ownership component.

The third round will add up to 400 megawatts and follow the same open competition format as the first round of the program.

The Request for Qualifications stage for both competitions is now closed. The AESO is currently evaluating submissions and qualified respondents will be notified and invited to submit a proposal prior to the Request for Proposals stage, scheduled for September. The successful projects are expected to be announced in December 2018.

Economic benefits

By 2030 the program is expected to attract approximately $10 billion in new private investment in the Alberta economy and create about 7,000 jobs for Albertans as projects are built.

The first round of competition attracted $1 billion of investment from international and Alberta-based companies and is expected to create approximately 740 jobs.

Round 1 results

Three successful bids from the first round of competition were announced Dec 13, 2017.

Round one set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada with a weighted average price of 3.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. By comparison, the weighted average price for Ontario’s large renewable procurement in 2016 was 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The successful companies will develop 600 megawatts of renewable electricity, enough to power 255,000 homes. This is 200 megawatts more than planned due to better-than-expected bid prices from developers. Projects will be operational by the end of 2019.

Capital Power

  • Will build a 201-megawatt wind farm 60km southwest of Medicine Hat.
  • Headquartered in Edmonton, publicly traded company.
  • Owns 4,500-megawatts of generation at 24 facilities in Canada and the U.S. including:
    • 500-megawatts of wind power across Alberta, B.C. and Ontario
    • 150-megawatt Halkirk wind farm in Alberta

EDP Renewables Canada Ltd.

  • Will build a 248-megawatt wind farm east of Hanna, roughly 50km north of Oyen.
  • World’s fourth-largest wind energy producer.
  • Operates in 16 countries, headquartered in Portugal.
  • Operates a 30-megawatt wind farm, with another 100-megawatt wind farm under development, both in Ontario.

Enel Green Power North America Inc.

  • Will build two projects, a 115-megawatt wind farm and a 31-megawatt wind farm, just outside of Pincher Creek.
  • Operates in 16 countries, headquartered in Italy.
  • Constructed more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable power globally in 2016.
  • Operates 76-megawatt Castle Rock Ridge wind farm in Alberta, cogeneration plants in Quebec and a wind farm in Newfoundland.

Contact

For more information about the Renewable Energy Program, contact:

Alberta Electric System Operator
Email: rep@aeso.ca

News

Other renewable energy programs

Support is available to help Indigenous communities, agriculture producers and educational institutions use renewable energy sources.