The Alberta government will set clear timelines for developing renewable electricity like wind and solar, and a competitive bidding process structured to limit costs.
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,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, minister of energy. “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 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.
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.