On December 18th, 2018 five new wind power projects were awarded contracts to supply electricity to Albertans for a record setting low price of $39/MWh. That is less than half the price of wind contracts awarded nine years ago when BC Hydro last contracted with large wind projects in BC.
“The cost of wind turbines has dropped over 70% in the last ten years,” said Jae Mather, Executive Director of Clean Energy BC. Prices for wind power contracts awarded in other power contract competitions in Saskatchewan and Alberta over the last 12 months were around $39 MWh and $45/MWh, respectively.
“This program is an important entry point into Alberta’s renewable energy sector, providing much-needed revenue streams and employment opportunities for First Nations while generating economic and environmental benefits for the province as a whole … we believe the knowledge gained will lead to even greater success for First Nations in the future.”
— Guy Lonechild, CEO, First Nations Power Authority
The five new Albertan projects will supply a total of 760 MW – enough to power nearly 300,000 homes. The companies behind the projects will invest $1.2 billion and create about 1,000 jobs. Three of the wind projects are private-sector partnerships with First Nations, which include a minimum 25% Indigenous equity component.
The contracts resulted from the latest competition held under the Alberta government’s Renewable Electricity Program. The power price is set and capped for the entire 30 years of each contract. If the project experiences and cost over-runs they are absorbed by the companies’ shareholders and are not passed through to electricity customers.
“We are extremely pleased to be investing in Alberta with our partner, the Sawridge First Nation. The development, construction, and operations of the Buffalo Atlee Wind Farm will provide significant environmental benefits, create jobs, drive local economic activity, and deliver excellent value to Alberta ratepayers. We look forward to completing this exciting project in Alberta, which has become a destination of choice for renewable energy investment.”
— David Eva, Chief Executive Officer, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation
The last time BC Hydro contracted for power from large wind projects was in 2009. Since then there has been a dramatic drop in the cost of producing wind power.
Low wind power prices are good news for the CleanBC program announced on December 5th by the BC government. CleanBC aims to reduce emissions by substituting clean electricity for fossil fuels throughout industry, buildings and transportation. “CEBC estimates over 30,000 GWh of new renewable electricity will be required to meet CleanBC’s emission-reduction targets,” says Mather who further adds “These recent low wind prices in next door Alberta are good news for BC ratepayers.”
“EDF Renewables is very pleased to be investing in Alberta, which, thank you to this government’s commitment, has made the province one of North America’s most competitive and successful markets for renewable energy. We’re proud to be partnering with the Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe) on the Cypress Wind Project. It will create hundreds of well-paying jobs, invest millions into Cypress County and Alberta’s economy, while generating affordable renewable electricity for Albertans.”
— Cory Basil, VP Development, EDF Renewables
More info on the Alberta Wind Awards can be found here.
Electrification of British Columbia: Assessing the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Extensive Electrification in BC.
This white paper is now officially released as of Tuesday October 16th, a PDF version is available for download here.
A shorter version is also available, Electrification of BC White Paper Briefing.
Additional research for the white paper can be found linked within the PDF document or by clicking here.
CEBC Board Member Judith Sayers was one of 10 contributors to a paper on the National Energy Board and the concept of social licence both within energy projects and generally.
Renewable Energy Producers Inject Billions into the Province, Report Finds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2016
British Columbia’s clean power producers have invested more than $8.6 billion in First Nations communities and local economies—including those hit hard by the recent collapse in global commodity markets—while fighting climate change and creating thousands of jobs.
That’s the key takeaway of a new Clean Energy BC assessment, Local Legacies: How Clean Power Producers are Building the Green Economy and Strengthening Communities Across British Columbia. The report finds:
- British Columbia’s clean power industry has attracted more than $8.6 billion in investment, and the money is spent in local economies, including the province’s north and interior regions.
- The sector has to date supported 15,970 direct, full-time equivalent person years of construction employment in every region of the province—with another 4,543 FTE person years of employment in the works on forthcoming projects.
- Renewable power companies now employ 641 people in operational roles around the province. Projects now under construction will support an additional 165 such positions once online.
- 25 percent of BC Hydro’s energy supply comes from independent power producers, of which 14 percent is provided by stand-alone clean-energy producers.
also details how First Nations participate in renewable energy projects, through impact benefit and revenue sharing agreements, employment, training, procurement, and more.
“Over the course of a decade, clean power producers have forged deep relationships with indigenous leaders, innovated made-in-B.C. solutions to protect ecosystems, and breathed new life into struggling communities all over the province,” said Paul Kariya, executive director of Clean Energy BC.
“We’re proud of that work, but our members are now ready to create a new legacy by powering the green economy of the future. If the provincial government heeds the advice of its own Climate Leadership Team, then we’re going to need plenty of clean electricity. We’re ready to deliver the goods.”
About Clean Energy BC
The BC Clean Energy Association represents 160 members who develop and operate reliable, responsible and affordable clean and renewable energy projects in cooperation with BC Hydro. A dozen First Nations are also members of the private-sector industry association.
Contact: Paul Kariya, Executive Director
The B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Toolkit was prepared by Kekinusuqs, Judith Sayers for the B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Working Group in November 2015.
” This toolkit is designed to assist First Nations in understanding the kinds of clean/renewable energy there are, how to begin looking into doing a clean energy project, pre-feasibility, feasibility, developing, financing, relationship building, opportunities, and where to find resources.”
Our London Economics 2014 study looks at the cost-effectiveness of our clean energy and Site C. The 49-page PDF linked here is our report from London Economics International, on the cost-effectiveness of our clean energy and Site C.
It shows private clean energy could save British Columbians $750 million to $1 billion during the 70-year “economic life” of Site C.
Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 focus on the factors expected to shape U.S. energy markets through 2040. The projections provide a basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serve as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, and regulations, as well as the potential role of advanced technologies.
This brief examines the BC government’s claim that 100,000 jobs will be created from liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in this province. We find that this claim is not credible and that potential employment impacts have been grossly overstated.
The Workbook for Delegates from the BC First Nations Mining and Energy Council Short Course on Sept. 25, 2011. The focus of this short course is to walk through the process of developing a clean energy project with a First Nation ownership or partnership component.