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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cody Dennis Memorial Game returns to Blackfalds for 16th year

Memorial game raises funds for Blackfalds Minor Hockey

Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre, LPAC team up for youth production of ‘Much More Munsch’

Youth ages 8-17 have been rehearsing original play since November

PHOTOS: Lacombe’s Nowco Home Hardware donates to Safe Harbour Society

Two large loads of warm clothing, mitts and McDonald’s gift cards donated

Lacombe County, Summer Village of Gull Lake sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

Agreement specifies what and how services are funded and delivered

Wolf Creek Public Schools board meeting – Jan. 16, 2020

MLA Luncheon, Poverty Simulation, Rock the Diploma and more discussed

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness

Nine times lucky? Alberta’s Northern Cree takes another shot at Grammy gold

The group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta

Tax revolt? Unpaid taxes from energy companies to Alberta towns more than double

The association says they are owed a total of $173 million

New post-secondary funding model in Alberta tied to performance measures

By 2022, up to 40 per cent of post-secondary funding could be linked to performance

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read