• Alberta province has etched a plan to be able to achieve its renewable energy target of 5 GW by 2030
  • The roadmap released by the government targets 5 GW to be achieved as 2.6 GW to respond to any specific needs of the electricity system; 1.5 GW in participation with indigenous communities; 900 MW with additional benefits for communities
  • AESO will come out with recommendations to launch round 4 of competitive procurement round to add up to 400 MW, with benefits for indigenous communities; details expected by mid-2019

By the year 2030, Canadian province of Alberta aims for 5 GW or 30% of renewable energy generation which is expected to create 7,000 jobs and attract about CAD 10 billion ($7.48 billion). Now, the Government of Alberta has come out with a roadmap to achieve these objectives under its Renewable Electricity Program (REP).

The roadmap sets an interim target of 15% renewable energy share by 2022, 20% by 2025 and 26% by 2028. Currently, the province gets around 10% of its electricity from renewable sources. The interim targets, says the government, offer greater certainty for investors and a strategic road map to reach the 30% threshold.

Out of the 5 GW capacity, 2.6 GW will be developed to respond to any specific needs of the electricity system, 1.5 GW will be deployed in participation with indigenous communities, and 900 MW will be added with additional benefits for communities.

Under the REP regime, already 3 rounds of capacity allocation have been conducted. Now, using the existing and planned transmission or distribution infrastructure, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) will develop recommendations a fourth renewable electricity auction to add up to 400 MW, demonstrating benefits to indigenous communities. Details on this will be available in mid-2019.

Previously, wind power companies won 600 MW under round 1, and AESO tendered 700 MW in 2 rounds to be commissioned by 2021 (see Alberta Launches RE Tender Rounds). Market intelligence and consulting firm Enerdata says under round 2, Alberta awarded 363 MW of wind power for an average bid price of CAD 38.69 ($28.63) per MWh to 4 companies, followed by 400 MW awarded for a winning bid of CAD 40.14 ($29.7) per MWh under round 3. Both tender rounds were oversubscribed and winners signed 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with AESO.

The REP is being funded by reinvesting revenues from carbon pricing under Climate Leadership Plan which stipulates Canadian provinces without emission reduction plans in place to pay up federal carbon price effective January 1, 2019. The REP, specified the government, is not funded by consumer electricity charges.

In February 2019, Canadian Solar secured contract with Alberta to develop 94 MW bifacial solar power projects with an average price of CAD 0.048 ($0.036) per kWh, which it will develop in partnership with indigenous community Conklin Metis Local 193 as 50% equity owner (see Canadian Solar Secures 94 MW Alberta Contract).