Alberta government announces $1.2B in renewable energy projects

The new developments are expected to create about 1,000 jobs and generate about 760 megawatts of affordable renewable electricity

Mario ToneguzziThe Alberta government says private companies are partnering with First Nations to invest around $1.2 billion in renewable energy projects in Alberta. The intent is to create new jobs and continue with record-setting low power prices for Albertans.

The government has announced five new wind projects as part of Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program. It includes investments from Albertan companies, as well as from new investors from companies in Ontario and France.

In total, the new developments will create about 1,000 jobs and generate about 760 megawatts of affordable renewable electricity – enough to power nearly 300,000 homes, the government said.

“Our made-in-Alberta plan is working to once again turn Alberta’s renewable energy resources into new jobs and investment in communities across the province, while producing the lowest-cost power available for Albertans. These major private investments in southern Alberta wind projects also bring important professional service opportunities to downtown Calgary and new economic opportunities for Indigenous communities, making it a win-win for all Albertans,” said Shannon Phillips, minister of Environment and Parks.

Each of these projects are expected to begin construction in 2020 and be fully operational by mid-2021:

  • TransAlta Corp. (Alberta-based) will build the 207-megawatt Windrise project, southwest of Fort MacLeod;
  • EDF Renewables Canada Inc. (subsidiary of France-based company) will build the 202-megawatt Cypress Wind Power project near Medicine Hat in partnership with the Kainai First Nation;
  • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (Ontario-based) will build the 48-megawatt Buffalo Atlee wind farms near Brooks in partnership with the Sawridge First Nation;
  • Potentia Renewables Inc. (Ontario-based) will build the 113-megawatt Stirling Wind project near Lethbridge in partnership with the Paul First Nation, as well as Calgary-based Greengate Power Corporation; 
  • Potentia Renewables Inc. will build two phases of the Jenner Wind Project near Brooks, for a total of 193 megawatts.

The government said the five projects will bring an estimated $175 million in rural benefits over the life of the projects, including landowner payments and municipal revenues.

The weighted average price of 3.9 cents per kilowatt hour for the latest round of projects is just shy of the Canadian record-low price achieved by Alberta in 2017 and continues to be among the lowest in the country, including less than half the price of a recent procurement in Ontario, it said.

“For over 100 years we have produced reliable power for Albertans, and we are pleased to have been awarded the contract to supply Albertans with 20 years of renewable energy. The Renewable Electricity Program contract and the Windrise project enable TransAlta to proudly continue to invest in and grow in Alberta,” said Dawn Farrell, president and CEO of TransAlta.

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