Wind industry set to deliver long-term economic, environmental benefits

Minister Phillips delivers keynote address at CanWEA's Alberta Summit

EDMONTON, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - The Alberta government's efforts to encourage development of the province's abundant wind energy resource and diversify its fossil-fuel dependent economy has captured the attention of investors who see a long-term opportunity for growth in the market, according to wind industry leaders who met today at The Westin Edmonton for the Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CanWEA) Alberta Summit.

About 185 established and emerging players in Canada's wind energy sector attended the one-day event, which explored the economic and environmental benefits of Alberta's plan to get 30 per cent of its electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030.

With billions of dollars of new investment expected to flow into the province as it adds 5,000 MW of new renewables to its grid over the next 14 years, delegates discussed opportunities for Alberta-based companies to generate new business by participating in the wind energy supply chain.

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips delivered the Summit's keynote luncheon address, showcasing her government's climate strategy and the role wind energy will play in meeting its objectives.

Mike Law, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), updated delegates on the province's competitive renewable energy procurement plans, including the process for the first 400 MW launched in March.

Expert panellists also advised on best practices for engaging with communities, reviewed the proactive steps being taken to manage wind's environmental impacts, weighed in on how Alberta's electricity market needs to evolve to enable the transition to a low-carbon future, and tackled persistent myths surrounding renewable energy reliability.

Quotes

"Our government's renewable energy program is part of a made-in-Alberta plan to create jobs, diversify our economy, attract investment, and reduce carbon pollution. The strong interest shown by industry ensures a highly competitive process that will allow us to achieve all of those goals at the lowest possible cost."

- The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister
Responsible for the Climate Change Office

"Alberta's aggressive, but achievable, target to have 30 per cent of its electricity come from renewable energy by 2030 promises significant opportunities for our industry and significant economic and environmental benefits for the province. Our focus as an industry needs to be on delivering those benefits to Albertans in a responsible and sustainable way."

- Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association

"Wind is the lowest-cost source of new electricity in Alberta alongside natural gas, so as the province goes to the market to procure its first 400 MW of new renewable energy, we fully expect it will have its pick of high-quality wind projects at very competitive prices."

- Evan Wilson, Regional Director, Prairies, Canadian Wind Energy Association

"The Renewable Electricity Program is designed to maximize participation and minimize overall costs. Renewables developers from Canada and around the world have expressed strong interest in the first competition, and we expect a very competitive and successful first round."

- Mike Law, Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer,
Alberta Electric System Operator

Background

  • Alberta has 1,479 MW of wind energy, the third largest installed capacity among Canadian provinces. Wind currently supplies about six per cent of the province's electricity demand, and Alberta's target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 has made it the leading market for new wind energy development in Canada. To learn more, please visit the Wind Markets section of CanWEA's website.
  • The Alberta Electric System Operator has launched a competitive process for the purchase of 400 MW of renewable energy, the first in a series of planned procurements that will support the installation of 5,000 MW of new generating capacity between now and 2030.
  • CanWEA's recently released Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study demonstrates how Alberta can reliably integrate the large amounts of renewable energy required to meet its climate change goals.

About the Canadian Wind Energy Association

CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more at www.canwea.ca.

 

SOURCE Canadian Wind Energy Association

For further information: or for interview opportunities, please contact: Lejla Latifovic, Senior Communications Advisor, Canadian Wind Energy Association, 1-800-922-6932 x 241, lejlalatifovic@canwea.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.canwea.ca

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