By December 13, 2017 Read More →

Alberta renewable auction sets Canadian record at 3.7 cent per kw/h average


Alberta renewable auction sets Canadian record for lowest cost per kw/h

By 2030, program expected to attract at least $10 billion of investment

Three companies have been chosen in the opening round of the Renewable Electricity Program, which will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta.  The successful bids have set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada, according to the Alberta Government press release.

The successful bidders will add approximately 600 megawatts of renewable power wind projects, or enough to power up to 255,000 homes.

“I’m pleased to see our plan is working to make life better and more affordable. This highly competitive program is attracting investment from Alberta and around the world, creating new jobs in our province while getting Albertans the most renewable power generation for the lowest cost,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

It’s 200 megawatts more than what was originally planned. The exceptionally competitive response from investors means that even with the added power, the entire auction still comes in under the original budget.

electric semi-truck

The following companies were successful bidders in round one:

  • Capital Power, which will build the 201-megawatt Whitla Wind project 60 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat.
  • EDP Renewables Canada Ltd., which will build a 248-megawatt wind farm at their Sharp Hills project east of Hanna, roughly 50 kilometres north of Oyen.
  • Enel Green Power North America, Inc., which will build two projects – the 115-megawatt Riverview Wind Farm and the 31-megawatt Phase 2 of Castle Rock Ridge Wind Power Plant just outside of Pincher Creek.

The weighted average price of the successful bids is 3.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. This compares to a 2016 Ontario procurement that had a weighted average price of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“As an Alberta-based company, we’re proud to be selected amongst global competition to be one of the first projects under this program to drive Alberta’s transition to a clean energy future. With the exceptional wind resource in southeast Alberta, Whitla Wind will be an excellent and low-cost source of new wind power for Albertans,” said Brian Vaasjo, president and CEO, Capital Power.

The Alberta prices are the lowest ever recorded in Canada and are among the lowest prices in North America and around the world.

This means affordable electricity prices for consumers will continue as renewable power generation grows in the province.

“We’re thrilled to be investing in Alberta and look forward to the Sharp Hills Wind Farm opening in the Hanna area, which has a strong track record in energy production. As a global company, we look forward to creating jobs and tax revenue for this region while generating low-cost, clean electricity for Albertans to enjoy,” said Ryan Brown, vice-president Eastern Region & Canada, EDP Renewables.

Support for the Renewable Electricity Program is funded by Climate Leadership Plan and not consumer electricity charges.

In total, the program will support the development of 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity to reach a target of 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Development of the next rounds of the program is underway with more details expected in early 2018.

The first round auction attracted investment from both international and Alberta-based companies and is expected to create approximately 740 jobs.

By 2030, the program is expected to attract at least $10 billion of investment into the Alberta economy and create more than 7,000 jobs for Albertans.

“Today’s announcement sends a strong market signal that Alberta’s energy sector is open for business. We’re encouraged by both the extremely low cost of this renewable power and the competitive market opportunities our energy evolution presents to companies from around the globe. Our team is at the forefront of marketing Alberta’s energy story to the world, and we look forward to continuing to work with these organizations as they grow their presence in the Alberta market,” said Mary Moran, president and CEO, Calgary Economic Development.

Posted in: Canada

5 Comments on "Alberta renewable auction sets Canadian record at 3.7 cent per kw/h average"

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  1. Stephen Murgatroyd says:

    I don’t get it… a total of 595 MW of capacity, operating at 20% capacity factor (most wind generators have less than 20% capacity factor) would generate 0.2 x 595,000 x 365 x24 kWh. Multiplied by .03 gives $31,273,200 per year or a 3% return on investment, and this is a conservative estimate. Who would take on that kind of risk for 3% ? What am I missing?

  2. Paul Graham says:

    I have no problem with wind power, but the money here is chump change compared to the oil and gas jobs investment that this province should be attracting? This type of power will supplement at best, we need to get the oil and gas industry going again, to put the big dollars back into the province, and create good paying jobs for Albertans.