In this Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 file photo, cattle graze in a pasture against a backdrop of wind turbines which are part of the 155 turbine Smoky Hill Wind Farm near Vesper, Kan. The president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association says the industry has proven it can compete on price with other sources of electrical power but now it must prove it can compete on reliability. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Charlie Riedel

Wind power developers upbeat about Alberta despite end of power project auctions

The open market in Alberta allows such deals to be struck between generator and customer

Panellists at a wind energy conference in Calgary say Alberta is still the best place in Canada to build renewable power projects despite the United Conservative government’s decision to unplug the previous NDP regime’s project auctions.

Grant Arnold, CEO of developer BluEarth Renewables, says his Calgary-based company is still fielding calls from corporations interested in buying green power because of its low cost, as well as its low emissions.

On the sidelines of the Canadian Wind Energy Association conference, he said the NDP’s renewable electricity program, which offered guaranteed minimum power prices, attracted bids that were lower than competing power sources and therefore served their purpose in demonstrating that renewable energy could be cost competitive.

Demonstrating the trend, last week Calgary-based Perimeter Solar Inc. said it would move ahead with a $200-million, 130-megawatt solar power project in southern Alberta after signing a contract to sell just over half of the output to TC Energy Corp.

Arnold says the open market in Alberta allows such deals to be struck between generator and customer, but they are prevented by regulation in most of the rest of Canada.

Evan Wilson, Prairies director for Canadian Wind Energy Association, says Alberta has the third-largest wind power sector in Canada and it supplies about seven per cent of provincial demand thanks to about 1,500 megawatts of capacity from 900 turbines at 37 projects.

He says the sector is set to add about 1,300 megawatts over the next two years as projects approved under the NDP renewable electricity program or REP come on line.

“The REP program let everyone know what we already knew, which is Alberta has a great wind resource and the price for wind power is now the cheapest form of new energy in the province,” Arnold said.

“What that does with the current government is it opens up the chance for pure market deals, which is generators generating wind power that can be sold to corporations that want to buy it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Clearview and staff are providing $1,525 towards ensuring families have enough to eat over the holidays

“Food Bank usage in Stettler and other areas continues to increase.”

‘You can take the kid from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the kid!’

Former area resident Maxine Berry reflects on growing up years in Endiang region

Red Deer-Lacombe MP, other Conservative MPs meet with AB justice minister

Calkins said the justice system is a revolving door for criminals targeting rural areas

Businesses and organizations team up for Miracle on 50th

Shop local, celebrate local on Dec. 14th

The Association of Communities Against Abuse continues to build awareness and offer support

A new support and empowerment group has also been started in Stettler

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Pet medical neglect cases on the rise in economically ailing Calgary

Alberta’s unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in November compared with 4.4 per cent five years ago

Alberta premier opens war room to promote ‘truth’ about energy industry

Effort includes a $2.5-million public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-oil advocacy groups

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read