Alberta gets record low windpower bids

The government of Alberta announced December 3 that it had chosen three companies in the opening round of the Renewable Electricity Program, on the basis of bids that set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.

          The bids will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta.

          The successful bidders will add approximately 600 megawatts of renewable power, through wind projects throughout the province. This amount represents 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.

          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.

          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.

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