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Alberta posts RFI to procure solar power for half of government operations


October 6, 2016 – A solar farm idea has snagged the Alberta government’s attention as the province continues on its path to more renewable energy generation and the phasing out of coal-fired electricity.

A Request for Information (RFI) to provide advice on the potential cost and best approach for procuring solar power for half of government operations has been posted. This will explore the opportunity to replace two existing green energy contracts that expire by the end of 2017 with solar power, Alberta says, and could lead to the first solar farm in Western Canada. The total consumption for the two contracts is 135,000MW hours a year.

“There is no doubt that solar electricity will become an important component of Alberta’s decarbonized and diversified electricity supply mix as the cost of our technology continues to significantly decline,” said John Gorman, president and CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA). “A solar farm that would meet half of the Government of Alberta’s annual electricity needs would support the delivery of many firsts: Canada’s first 50% solar-powered government; Western Canada’s first large-scale solar farm; Alberta’s first utility-scale solar jobs. The success of this initiative will secure the government and public confidence in a larger future role for solar energy in Alberta.”

Currently, the province says there are three electricity contracts that provide approximately 250,000MW hours per year for 100% of the power to more than 1500 government-owned buildings and sites.