Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with BluEarth Renewables and Bullfrog Power, a unit of Spark Power that develops and manages renewable energy projects.
The bank has agreed to buy 80,000 MWh per year, starting from April 2021. It will source the electricity from two solar projects with capacities of 19 MW and 20 MW that are currently under construction in the province of Alberta. It did not provide any details about the duration of the contract and the price per kWh.
“Power purchase agreements are the most effective way to expand renewable energy in Canada,” said Bullfrog Power President Sean Drygas.
RBC and Bullfrog Power began working together in mid-2019, when the formed a “buyers partnership.” They define their relationship as an “emerging strategy in corporate PPAs where companies partner to gain access to larger projects, benefiting from economies of scale and sharing in the costs of executing these agreements.”
Alberta has been attracting unsubsidized, large-scale solar under private PPAs in recent months. It already hosts a 24.5 MW merchant solar project that is now in the planning phase.
In August 2019, the provincial regulator approved the nation’s biggest solar project – the 400 MW Travers solar project, which is being developed by Greengate Power Corp in Vulcan county. The installation is scheduled for commercial operation in 2021. It will operate without subsidies and will sell power on a merchant basis.
In February 2019, the Alberta provincial government announced the finalization of a public auction for 94 MW of utility-scale solar capacity. It resulted in a surprisingly low average final electricity price of CAD0.048 ($0.036)/kWh. The allocated capacity consists of three large-scale projects that will be built by Canadian Solar.