Alberta

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.

  • A Clean Electricity Standard that imposes a maximum greenhouse gas emissions-intensity level, measured in tonnes CO2e/MWh, on electricity sold by retailers.
  • An increase in the $15/tonne carbon price imposed on large emitters under Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation.

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

Additional Resources 

CanWEA offers additional technical information and full reports to its members. Visit the members only website and browse through CanWEA’s extensive Resource Library today.  Not a member?  To learn more visit CanWEA’s membership page or email sales@canwea.ca.

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. 

Useful Links

Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO)
Alberta Energy