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Alberta power grid operator preparing to roll out renewable energy roadmap

AESO refining coal phase-out plan, expects to finish report by end of month



Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, Alberta's Electric System Operator plans to finalize its plan to eliminate coal-fired generation in the province by the end of the month. PHOTO: CanWEA

Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, Alberta’s Electric System Operator plans to finalize its plan to eliminate coal-fired generation in the province by the end of the month. PHOTO: CanWEA

CALGARY—The head of Alberta’s power grid operator says he expects to finish a report before the end of the month on how to increase renewable energy investments in the province.

David Erickson, chief executive of the Alberta Electric System Operator, says the report will then be submitted to the provincial government, with details of the plan expected to be finalized in the third quarter.

That would give enough time to initiate the first round of bidding on various renewable energy projects by the end of the year, with the aim of having the new power sources coming online in 2019.

Erickson described the timeline is “aggressive” but said it still leaves enough time to get it right.

He said the renewable energy procurement process should generally follow the recommendations of the government-commissioned climate leadership report tabled last November, but that the AESO is still refining details on the issue after hearing from some 140 stakeholder groups.

Alberta’s NDP government has committed to phasing out coal-fired power plants and increasing renewable energy’s share of the power supply to as much as 30 per cent by 2030.

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