The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has opened the first of a three-stage competitive process, under which bids will be considered to provide a total of 700 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power nearly 300,000 homes.
“We expect this highly competitive process to continue attracting investment from Alberta and around the world, creating meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities and getting Albertans the most renewable power generation for the lowest cost,” said Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd.
The second round of the program will see private-sector partnerships with Indigenous communities bidding to produce up to 300 megawatts of power. Each bid must include a minimum 25 per cent Indigenous equity ownership component, which can include an ownership stake in the project or land-use agreement between the company and the community. This will help create jobs and economic benefits in Indigenous communities and across Alberta.
The third round will add up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity and follow the same open competition format as the first round of the program, which saw strong investor confidence that resulted in historic success. Successful projects announced in December 2017 set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.
Support for the Renewable Electricity Program is made possible by the Climate Leadership Plan and is not funded by consumer electricity charges. As a competition-driven process, it will achieve the most renewable energy development for investment, keeping costs as low as possible while maintaining a reliable and sustainable electricity system.
In total, the program will support the development of 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity to help Alberta reach its target of having 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
AESO, which administers the program, will coordinate the next stages of the competition over the coming months with successful bidders announced by the end of 2018.
- New or expanded renewable electricity generation projects located in Alberta;
- Able to connect to existing distribution or transmission systems;
- More than 5 megawatts in size;
- Meets Alberta’s definition of renewable energy resources in the Renewable Electricity Act; and
- Payment mechanism is an indexed renewable energy credit, which was used in Round 1.
For purposes of Round 2, Indigenous is defined as one or a combination of the following:
- First Nation communities
- Metis settlements
- Metis Nation of Alberta
- The Aseniwuche Winewak Nation
- 100 per cent Indigenous-community owned organization and/or business
The program is expected to attract approximately $10 billion in new private investment and create about 7,000 jobs for Albertans by 2030. Opportunities are expected in a wide range of fields, including construction, electrical and mechanical engineering, project management, as well as jobs for IT specialists, field technicians, electricians, and mechanics.