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article imageAlberta's first renewable energy auction sets new low for wind

By Karen Graham     Dec 14, 2017 in Technology
Alberta - The government of Alberta, Canada, home to the world's third-largest oil reserves, on Wednesday actioned off 595 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to be built in the province, exceeding the government's target of 400 megawatts.
In following through on the province's Climate Leadership Plan, Alberta is signaling its intention to transition to all renewable and gas-fired generation by 2030.
And while Alberta is Canada's largest consumer of coal and its second-largest producer of the fuel, this marks a major move for Alberta, with officials saying this is not a change in direction, but instead is a continuation of the province's leading position in energy.
Premier Rachel Notley pointed this out at a news conference Wednesday: “It’s an industry that’s going to continue to be at the core of who we are and what we do for many, many years to come."
Clean Energy Canada
New low for wind energy costs set
The four winning projects ended up bidding a record-shattering average price of C$0.037/kWh ($0.029/kWh). That price comes with an average bid of 3.7 Canadian cents (three U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour, the lowest price for wind power ever in Canada.
Developers agreed to sell power for 8.5 Canadian cents a kilowatt-hour in an Ontario procurement last year, according to Bloomberg.
The government said that even with the added power above the anticipated 400 megawatts, the entire auction still came in under their original budget. "I think you could say the results of this round exceeded even our most optimistic expectations," said the province's energy minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd during a news conference announcing the auction results.
Binnu Jeyakumar, the program director for electricity at the Pembina Institute, a sustainable energy think-tank, noted that Alberta's new wind projects will be "cheaper than a new gas plant, even with current all-time-low gas prices."
Capital Power s Kingsbridge I wind farm.
Capital Power's Kingsbridge I wind farm.
Capital Power
Capital Power’s Whitla Wind project awarded 20-year contract
The winning bidders include Capital Power Corp., headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company is planning a wind farm with 201 megawatts of capacity. Capital will have one of two of the largest projects, and both are slated to use Vestas wind turbines.
Capital Power proposed Whitla Wind is a 201.6 MW wind facility in Southeast Alberta. The Whitla Wind site has the capacity for 300 MW that can be developed in two phases and is located 45 kilometers southwest of Medicine Hat in the County of Forty Mile, Alberta.
“Capital Power is the only Alberta-based company chosen amongst global competitors in a highly competitive process,” said Brian Vaasjo, Capital Power President, and CEO. “Whitla Wind advances our disciplined growth strategy and is the first wind project to contribute to our target of delivering two-to-four contracted wind development projects by the end of 2018.”
EDP´s Wild Horse Wind Farm in Kittitas County  Washington  United States
EDP´s Wild Horse Wind Farm in Kittitas County, Washington, United States
EDP Renewables is awarded 20-year contract for 248.4 MW of wind in Canada
EDP Renewables, headquartered in Madrid, Spain is the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer. The company's Canadian subsidiary, EDP Renewables Canada Ltd., has been awarded a 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreement contract for its Sharp Hills wind farm project in Eastern Alberta.
João Manso Neto, CEO of EDP Renewables highlighted “the importance of this project for the company’s future plans, as Canada offers significant possibilities and opportunities, and we intend to continue increasing our presence in the country going forward.”
Manso Neto also pointed out “the important benefits that Sharp Hills Wind Farm will bring to the area. Its strong track record in energy production will allow us to create new jobs while generating low-cost, emissions-free electricity for all Albertans to enjoy.”
EDP has had a presence in Canada since 2010 and has an installed capacity in the country of 30 MW within a portfolio of wind farm projects being developed in Southwestern Ontario. EDP also plans to use Vestas wind turbines.
ENEL s Castle Rock Ridge wind farm.
ENEL's Castle Rock Ridge wind farm.
Enel Green Power SpA awarded contract to build two wind farms
Enel Green Power S.p.A. is an Italian multinational renewable-energy corporation, headquartered in Rome. Its US-based renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, Inc. was awarded two 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreement contracts in the auction.
Enel will build two new wind facilities, the 115 MW Riverview Wind project and the 30.6 MW Phase 2 of Castle Rock Ridge wind farm, with a total capacity of 146 MW. Both projects are located in Pincher Creek, Alberta. The Phase 2 Castle Rock Wind Farm will be an expansion of EGPNA’s existing 76.2 MW Castle Rock Ridge wind. ENEL will use Siemens Gamesa and Enercon turbines respectively.
“This Canadian award is a major milestone for our company, as it is the first regulated renewables tender we have ever won in the Country,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Enel’s Head of Global Renewable Energies Division Enel Green Power (“EGP”). “We are thrilled to be investing once again in the Canadian energy economy and to continue our growth here in Alberta."
Together, all the winning projects will power more than 250,000 homes, officials said. Additionally, all four wind farms are expected to be operational sometime in 2019.
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