• Alberta’s government has published a request for information (RFI), asking for background to set up a solar farm
  • It plans to have the solar power plant replace two existing green energy contracts with a total annual volume of 135,000 MWh that will come to an end in December 2016 and December 2017
  • The clean energy produced from the solar farm will be used to power government owned buildings and sites

The provincial administration of Alberta in Canada is set to invite bidders for setting up a solar farm that is aimed at replacing two existing green energy contracts. The total consumption for the two contracts is 135,000 MWh annually. It is seeking to establish its first solar farm in Western Canada. which will in effect ‘result in 10 times the current solar energy production in Alberta’ powering 18,750 homes in the region for one year.

For this purpose, it has published a request for information (RFI) through which it is seeking advice on the potential cost and best approach for procuring solar power for half of government operations.

The Minister for Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, Shannon Phillips, said, “Prairies have the best solar resources in Canada and our government is committed to providing opportunities for the emerging solar industry to take advantage of this natural resource.”

Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), President and CEO John Gorman, stated that if and when the solar plant comes into operation, it will secure the government and public confidence in a larger future role for solar energy in Alberta.

With this solar farm, the government wants to meet half of its annual electricity needs from solar power, which will also be Canada’s first large scale solar farm.

There are three electricity contracts in Alberta currently that provide 100% power to over 1,500 government owned buildings and sites. The electricity these provide comes to a total of 250,000 MWh a year. Out of these, one of the contracts is coming to an end in December 2016, and the other one expires a year later in December 2017. The proposed solar farm will replace these two contracts. The third one will continue to be in effect till December 2024.

The last date to participate in the RFI is three weeks from October 6, 2016.