Second round of renewable power projects to include Indigenous equity

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
February 5, 2018 - 11:17am

CALGARY – An minimum component of Indigenous equity will be a prerequisite, in the second round of competition for renewable energy in Alberta.

Companies will be required to partner with Indigenous communities to provide 300 megawatts of renewable power, the province said in a news release and news conference Monday, Feb. 5. The equity can be in the form of an ownership stake or a land use agreement, ultimately creating jobs and economic benefits.

Environment minister Shannon Phillips said the NDP government’s plan is leading to more renewable energy investment while creating good jobs.

“Today’s announcement recognizes the valuable work of Indigenous communities in advancing our province’s transition to renewable energy,” Phillips said in a news release.

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Rupert Meneen said climate change impacts everyone, and Indigenous people feel the effects first-hand, every day.

“This round of the Renewable Energy Program supports our communities’ efforts in developing renewable projects,” he said.

The government said the first round of the program conducted by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) generated around $1 billion in private-sector investment, at a record-low price. The successful bidders are to provide 600 megawatts by the end of 2019.

A third round will follow the same pattern as the first, to add around 400 megawatts. The second and third rounds are expected to open in the spring, auction-style, with winning bidders chosen by the end of the year. Ultimately, the goal is to generate 5,000 megawatts of renewable power capacity, for a target of 30 per cent renewable by 2030.

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