Wind Energy Opportunity
- South East Alberta has $3.5B in projects planned to come online between 2017 and 2019 representing over 1,600 megawatts of power.
- By using dollar figures provided by CanWEA and proposed projects provided by the Government of Alberta, Southeast Alberta wind farms could produce up to 1,500 construction jobs and over 100 permanent full-time jobs.
- The Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is looking for two-thirds of provincial coal generated electricity to be replaced with renewable energy by 2030.
- Wind currently contributes 9% to the provincial grid.
Medicine Hat is home to some of the best wind resources in Canada, a city-owned utility and renewable energy programs that have been modeled across the country. As provincial carbon rebate programs come online, Medicine Hat is in an enviable position to become a renewable energy hub.
Current proposed wind projects in the area would rely on Medicine Hat’s established trades and engineering expertise to get the turbines built, operated and maintained.
South East Alberta Wind Farms
- WindFacts is lead by wind energy leaders and endorsed by CanWEA.
- Wind energy development pays significant economic dividends. Every 150 MW of new capacity represents:
- $316 million in investment
- 140 full-time equivalent jobs in construction and 10 permanent jobs in operations and maintenance
- $17 million in lease payments to landowners over 20 years
- $31 million in property tax payments to municipalities over 20 years
- Using the numbers above, South East Alberta currently has approximately $3.5B in proposed wind projects. These projects are planned to be online between 2017 and 2019, adding 1,665MW to the provincial grid.
- Investment: $3.5B
- Construction jobs: 1,500
- Permanent Jobs: 110
- $190 million in lease payments to landowners over 20 years
- $344 million in property tax payments to landowners over 20 years
- Alberta’s future energy mix: exploring the potential for renewables (KPMG 2014)
- It has been estimated that approximately $13-$15 billion will be invested in transmission assets in Alberta in the next five to 10 years.
- Low natural gas prices make wind less attractive from an economics perspective. The Government of Alberta’s renewable energy program may level the playing field, allowing wind to become more competitive.
- There is a perfect storm in Alberta right now and renewables may end up a safe harbour for the long term. Consider the Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, shrinking capital costs related to renewables and lower oil & gas prices.
- CanWEA Alberta brochure – Wind by the numbers in Alberta (December 2015)
- Number of Installations: 38
- Number of Wind Turbines: 958
- Total Installed Capacity (MW): 1,500 (4% of provincial total)
- Average Turbine Capacity (MW): 57
- Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study (General Electric)
- This is the most northerly wind integration study ever conducted. It included Canada and 47 US states.
- Most Canadian provinces have more interconnection capacity to USA states to their south than to their neighbouring Canadian provinces. Therefore, when wind penetration increases in Canada, impacts and benefits are shared by both Canada and the USA. For every 1 megawatt-hour of additional wind generation in Canada (relative to 5% BAU scenario), energy exports from Canada to the USA increase by about 0.5 MWh.
- Oil & Gas companies moving towards viable renewable energy future
- Global renewable energy investment hit record levels in 2015 ($329B).
- Suncor is involved in six wind farm projects in Canada which produce almost 287 MW, enough to power 100,000 homes.
- Billions expected to be spent on green energy in Alberta, Saskatchewan
- $50 billion is expected to be spent on renewable energy projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan over the next 14 years.
- Alberta will unveil its program in the fall and begin accepting bids from the private sector by end of 2016.
- On Jan. 1, 2017, large emitters will pay a carbon price of $20 per tonne for emissions that exceed their target. The price then rises to $30 a tonne on Jan. 1, 2018. Over the next five years, the government estimates it will spend $3.4 billion from the carbon tax toward large-scale renewable energy, bioenergy and technology.
- Electricity prices cheap in Alberta, for now
- Transmission costs not only hurt a person’s pocketbook, but businesses as well. As these expenses keep climbing, large companies may decide it’s cheaper to generate their own power.
- The groups say there was little incentive last year for large industrial or commercial players to produce their own power. However by 2021 they could save between 15 per cent and 38 per cent based on their operation and how the market evolves.