Alberta and Saskatchewan may be poised to invest C$50 billion in renewable energy projects over the next 14 years, according to a panelist at a clean energy finance conference in Calgary earlier this week.
Now, potential vendors are anxious for information on how the funds will be divided up and where they’ll have a chance to bid, David Hickey, Vice President of Wind Power and Renewables at Siemens Canada, told more than 400 participants at the Alberta & Saskatchewan Renewable Energy Finance Summit. (According to the conference website, the Summit had to be relocated “to accommodate the event demand.”)
“There is a terrific opportunity here,” said Robert Nicolson of RBC Capital Markets’ energy and power group. “I think we are going to get more renewables built” in Alberta. “It’s a question of what shape do they come in.”
The Alberta government recently received recommendations from its electricity system operator on how to set up a competitive renewable energy procurement process, and plans to unveil the process in the fall.
“This is a complicated file, and we will take the time to get it right,” said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips. “For some, we have been moving too quickly. For others, we haven’t moved fast enough,” but the province recognizes that “continuing to do nothing is a dead end for our economy,” she added. “Inaction on climate change will only result in more boom-bust, fewer opportunities for access to markets, and more risk to our resiliency as a province.”
Saskatchewan, meanwhile, produces 20% of its electricity from hydro and 5% from wind, and expects to nearly double its wind capacity by 2020, CBC reports. “In addition, SaskPower will invest in a utility-scale solar power generation project, with a competitive procurement this year.”