Alberta renewables plan powers jobs, investment

Alberta renewables plan outlines how the provincial government plans to create more jobs, attract billions in new private investment and grow partnerships with Indigenous communities.  StarMetro photo by Kevin Tuong.

Long-term Alberta renewables plan calls for 30 per cent green energy by 2030

The Notley government’s long-term Alberta renewables plan outlines steps to create jobs, attract billions of dollars in new private investment and grow partnerships with Alberta Indigenous communities.

According to the Province, the road map for the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) includes interim targets to achieve 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, including Indigenous participation in the development of 1,500 megawatts of power.  This is enough to power more than 700,000 homes.

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks says “We’re leading the fight to create good jobs in a more diversified economy.”

Through this program, Alberta will see 5,000 megawatts of green generation, about $10 billion in new private investment and the creation of 7,000 jobs by 2030.

“By laying out a more detailed, long-term plan for renewable power, we’re strengthening Alberta’s position as a leader in renewable energy while providing certainty for private investors, communities and First Nations,” said Phillips. She added “we’re maximizing the jobs, investment and economic benefits for all Albertans.”

In a press release, the Notley government reports that the first rounds of the program set records for the lowest prices in Canada for renewable electricity.

The long-term Alberta renewables plan builds on this momentum and, in addition to fostering further Indigenous partnerships, includes rounds with specific community interest components such as local jobs, training, shared revenues and other economic, social or environmental benefits.

“We commend Premier Rachel Notley’s government for taking the meaningful action necessary to create jobs and attract new investment that fosters relationships between Indigenous communities and industry,” said Guy Lonechild, CEO of the First Nations Power Authority.

He added “This long-term plan provides the certainty needed to create lasting benefits in this sector for generations to come.”

Currently, about 10 per cent of Alberta’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources.  The interim targets outlined by the Alberta government offer greater certainty for investors and a strategic road map for how renewables use can hit 30 per cent by 2030.

Evan Wilson, regional director at the Canadian Wind Energy Association, or CanWEA, said “CanWEA is pleased that the Government of Alberta is taking steps to commit to a long-term, stable vision for the development of the province’s impressive wind resource.”

“Long-term planning provides our members with the stability needed to make investments that will unlock the lowest-cost electricity for ratepayers and provide long-term benefits to landowners and their rural communities.”

Wilson says that by 2030, this could result in over $3.6 billion in project spending in the province, along with $25.5 million in property tax and $13.5 million in land lease payments every year.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has also been directed to develop recommendations for a fourth renewable electricity auction, which will add up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity in Alberta and, similar to a previous round, must demonstrate benefits to Indigenous communities.

As with the first three rounds, REP will continue to make efficient use of existing and planned transmission or distribution infrastructure. Details are expected to be available in mid-2019.

The Alberta government says support for the Renewable Electricity Program comes from reinvesting revenues from carbon pricing under the Climate Leadership Plan and is not funded by consumer electricity charges.



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