Canada: Alberta Government issues RfP for 135,000 MWh of solar

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The Government of the western Canadian province has said it is committed to purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to 135,000 MWh of solar electricity over the next 20 years – enough to power around 18,750 homes, or equivalent to 55% of its electricity needs.

It added that Alberta is home to the best solar resources in Canada. It anticipates having the solar project contracts in place before next spring.

“Renewable energy is a priority for our government. Using solar power generated in Alberta for government’s electricity needs advances new economic and investment opportunities with an energy sector that is growing fast,” said Sandra Jansen, Minister of Infrastructure in a government statement released.

Since 2009, continued the statement, the Alberta Government has powered its facilities with 100% renewable energy.

Last June, the government unveiled a new Residential and Commercial Solar Program, which made $36 million available in the form of solar rebates, planned to support the deployment of around 50 MW of PV power through 2019.

It said the program will enable the creation of around 900 jobs and should quadruple the province’s installed PV capacity each year, increasing it to 8 MW in 2017, and up to 140 MW by 2022.

Meanwhile, in November 2016, the government revealed plans to install 5 GW of renewables. The first phase is expected to see up to 400 MW of renewables under the first round of a competitive procurement process known as the Renewable Electricity Program (REP). Overall, it expects the REP to attract at least C$10.5 billion ($7.8 billion) of private investment in new projects.

In the November prior to that the new government at the time released sweeping energy and climate goals, including a target for Alberta to get 30% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and to phase out coal entirely during this time.