Alberta will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity 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. Projects from the first three rounds of competition have been selected. AESO is developing recommendations for a fourth round that will add up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity and demonstrate benefits to Indigenous communities.
Renewable energy comes from a source that is naturally occurring and replenishes after use, such as geothermal, hydro, solar, sustainable biomass and wind.
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.
On February 26, 2019, the province announced a long-term plan for the Renewable Electricity Program.
This plan includes phases which strengthen Indigenous partnerships as well as phases with specific community interest components such as local jobs, training and other economic, social or environmental benefits.
Future phases will be designed to address specific electricity system considerations given the rapid technological advances in renewable energy production.
The long-term plan also set interim targets—a road map for how growth will reach 30% of Alberta’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 while providing greater certainty for investors.
The Alberta Electric System Operator is developing REP Round Four, which will add up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity in Alberta in partnership with Indigenous communities.
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 about 740 jobs.
Rounds two and three of the competition attracted around $1.2 billion of private investment and will create about 1,000 jobs.
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.
Successful projects will be privately funded and supported by reinvesting a portion of carbon revenues from large industrial emitters.
All rounds of the program to date have included the requirement to use transmission infrastructure that already exists or was previously planned.
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.
- 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.
Round 2 results
Three successful projects from the second round of competition were announced Dec. 17, 2018.
Round two set another Canadian record as the most cost effective utility-scale renewables program that also ensures benefits to Indigenous communities. Each project includes a minimum of 25% Indigenous equity ownership to create local jobs and economic benefits.
These projects will produce about 360 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 150,000 homes. The weighted average price is 3.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. The projects will be operational by mid-2021.
Capstone Infrastructure Corporation
- Will build the 48-megawatt Buffalo Atlee wind farms 1, 2 and 3, located near Brooks, in partnership with Sawridge First Nation.
EDF Renewables Canada Inc.
- Will build the 202-megawatt Cypress Wind Power project, located near Medicine Hat, in partnership with Blood-Kainai First Nation.
Potentia Renewables Inc.
- Will build the 113-megawatt Stirling Wind project, located near Lethbridge, in partnership with the Paul First Nation.
Round 3 results
Three successful projects from the third round of competition were announced Dec. 17, 2018.
These projects will produce about 400 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes at a rate of 4.0 cents per kilowatt-hour. The projects will be operational by mid-2021.
- Will build the 207-megawatt Windrise project, located near Pincher Creek.
Potentia Renewables Inc.
- Will build the 122-megawatt Jenner Wind Power project 1 near Brooks.
- Will build the 71-megawatt Jenner Wind Power project 2 near Brooks.
For more information about the Renewable Energy Program, contact:
- Long-term renewables plan powers jobs, investment (Feb. 26, 2019)
- Wind projects create jobs, Indigenous partnerships (Dec. 17, 2018)
- Renewable energy to power new jobs, investment (April 4, 2018)
- Indigenous partnerships power renewable energy (Feb. 05, 2018)
- New jobs, investment to come from renewables (Mar. 24, 2017)