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

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

From courthouse to council’s house

Old courthouse had long history before becoming City Hall

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Writer says Alberta highway system falling apart

Highways in ‘deplorable’ condition: writer

County council denies request for parking lot

Buck Lake groups are welcome to raise funds and return to council

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read