On October 6th at CanSIA’s 7th Annual Solar West, Minister Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s Minister of Environment & Parks (and Minister responsible for the Alberta Climate Change Office) announced their intent to power half of government operations with solar energy. CanSIA states the Government of Alberta is leading by example as the first provincial or territorial government in Canada to explore the feasibility of meeting 50% of their annual electricity needs from solar energy. The process, if successful in identifying a supplier or suppliers that can construct and operate a solar farms that meet the province’s economic criteria, could give rise to 100 MW of new installed generation capacity in the province – enough to power 18,750 Alberta homes for a year.
“There is no doubt that solar electricity will become an important component of Alberta’s decarbonized and diversified electricity supply mix as the cost of our technology continues to significantly decline. The solar farm that would meet half of the Government of Alberta’s annual electricity needs would support the delivery of many firsts. Canada’s first 50% solar-powered Government. Western Canada’s first large-scale solar farm. Alberta’s first utility-scale solar jobs. The success of this initiative will secure the government and public confidence in a larger future role for solar energy in Alberta” – John Gorman, President & CEO, CanSIA
“Not many people know that the Government of Alberta has been 100% renewable for a decade. This initiative gave the wind energy industry the early leg-up they required to become the cost-competitive clean option that they are for the province today. We expect that this new solar energy initiative will not only help our industry to overcome some preliminary hurdles in Alberta, but to also deliver the lowest cost solar electricity in Canada’s history” – Patrick Bateman, Director of Policy & Market Development, CanSIA