Wind Energy: Helping Alberta Green its Grid
Wind energy is an established and growing player in the Alberta electricity market, providing clean and renewable electricity to complement conventional energy sources and to diversify Alberta’s electricity generation mix.
Canada’s first commercial wind farm, today owned by TransAlta, was installed at Cowley Ridge in Southern Alberta in 1993. Alberta ranks third in Canada with an installed wind energy capacity of 1,120.3 MW. The province’s wind farms produce enough electricity to power over 350,000 average sized homes.
Alberta’s electricity market is a deregulated merchant market that allows anyone to enter the market if they believe they can obtain sufficient revenues in order to ensure their project is economical. There is, however, uncertainty about electricity prices in the Alberta market over the mid-to-long-term horizon. Electricity generation projects are long-term investments and the price uncertainty makes it increasingly difficult to finance and build new electricity generation.
CanWEA’s WindVision 2025: A Strategy for Alberta has identified two complementary policy innovations that have the potential to allow the wind industry to overcome these barriers.
The Government of Alberta is currently working on an Alternative and Renewable Energy Strategy that CanWEA expects will further enhance Alberta’s ability to compete for additional wind energy investment. Alberta is well positioned to take advantage of significant wind resources, access to skilled trades and the experience of independent power producers. Wind energy can provide substantial amounts of new clean electricity to Albertans while at the same time contributing to rural economic development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Wind by the numbers in Alberta (December 2013)
Number of Installations: 34
Number of Wind Turbines: 752
Total Installed Capacity (MW): 1,120.3
Average Turbine Capacity (MW): 1.49
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Alberta WindVision Technical Overview Report The WindVision for Alberta – Technical Overview is the supporting document providing technical details and analysis for four discrete aspects of the pending Alberta WindVision document.