February 7 (Renewables Now) - The Canadian province of Alberta is getting ready to open tenders for the procurement of 700 MW of renewable energy capacity this spring.
The competitive bidding will be split into two rounds, namely Rounds 2 and 3 of the state’s Renewable Energy Programme (REP), building upon the success of the initial tender in December 2017 where 600 MW of wind projects were selected. The auctions will be conducted by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the state government announced on Monday.
The second round of the competition will seek to add 300 MW of renewables capacity and will include a partnership requirement for equity ownership with Indigenous communities. The equity component can either include sharing an interest in the project or a land use agreement between the project developer and the community. Meanwhile, Round 3 of the programme will have a procurement goal of about 400 MW and will be conducted through an open competition as in the first round. Overall, the 700 MW of fresh capacity will bring generation that will be enough to supply 300,000 local homes.
AESCO will open Round 2 and 3 competitions simultaneously, with successful bidders to be announced by the end of 2018.
The 600 MW of winning projects in the first round of the REP programme will lead to the construction of four utility-scale wind parks by end-2019, bringing private-sector investment of about CAD 1 billion (USD 799m/EUR 645m). Through the tenders Alberta aims to achieve its goal to install 5,000 MW of renewables and reach a 30% renewables share by 2030.
According to the Canadian wind energy association (CanWEA), Alberta has 1,479 MW of installed wind power capacity. Wind currently meets about 8% of the province's power demand.
(CAD 1.0 = USD 0.799/EUR 0.645)