On September 14, 2016, the Alberta Government announced its firm target that 30% of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. In order to achieve this, the province intends to support 5,000 MW of additional renewable capacity.

The province’s 30 by 30 announcement also provides useful details regarding eligibility for the Renewable Electricity Program (or REP). Projects must:

  • be based in Alberta,
  • be new or expanded,
  • be five megawatts or greater in size, and
  • meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources.

Interestingly, the announcement also notes that work is underway to improve the rules surrounding smaller-scale electricity generation, in order to make it easier for individuals and communities to generate their own renewable energy.

The announcement builds on the previous announcement that the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) was chosen under the province’s Climate Leadership Plan to develop and implement the REP to add additional renewable generation capacity into Alberta’s electricity system. The AESO delivered its recommendations to the Alberta government on May 31, 2016.

As discussed in a previous post, the AESO released the results of its stakeholder engagement process on May 5, 2016. The AESO’s stakeholder engagement update also included a summary of expected development timelines for different sources of renewable generation. Estimated timelines are based on key activities and timelines associated with the development, regulatory approval and construction of anticipated renewable projects:

  • Wind: 4 to 6 years
  • Solar: 1.5 to 3 years
  • Biomass: 2 to 3 years
  • Geothermal: 3 to 7 years
  • Large Hydro: 10 to 14 years

Further details on how the program will operate will be released later this year.