WindTurbineESM.jpgAlberta will need up to $25 billion of new investment in electricity generation by 2030 to support the transition toward cleaner sources of energy and meet the needs of electricity consumers. In order to attract this investment, protect consumers from price volatility and maintain system reliability, Alberta is transitioning to a capacity marketexternal link iconsystem. In a capacity market, private power generators are paid through a mix of competitively auctioned contracts that pay their fixed capital costs and revenue from the spot market. A capacity market will allow Alberta’s current generators, along with investors from outside the province, to compete to provide generation at the lowest cost. This transitionexternal link iconwas recommended by current and potential energy investors, external experts, consumer groups, and the Alberta Electric System Operatorexternal link icon(AESO), which oversees the province’s electricity system in the interest of the public. Government is working closely with stakeholders during this transition.

While the province makes the necessary reforms to the electricity system, government is protecting Alberta families, farms and small businesses from volatile electricity costs through a four-year price capexternal link iconof 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO). The RRO is the default electricity contract available to most Alberta electricity consumers. From June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2021, should the market price of electricity rise above 6.8 cents, consumers on the regulated rate will not see an increase on their bills.

A capacity market will also support Alberta’s transition to cleaner power. To reduce emissions and increase the use of renewables to generate electricity in Alberta, the government launchedexternal link iconthe Renewable Electricity Programexternal link iconon March 31, 2017. This programexternal link iconwill add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 using a competitive process, administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), and puts Alberta on a path to achieve a target of 30 per cent renewable energy by that time. In addition, under the Climate Leadership Planexternal link, pollution from coal-fired electricity generation will be phased out by 2030.

The Renewable Electricity Program will support the development of 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity from sources such as wind, hydro and solar to reach a target of 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030. The AESO is running the Renewable Electricity Program competitionsexternal link icon.

To make it easier for Albertans to generate their own electricity, the micro-generationrules were amended to increase the capacity limit from one megawatt to five megawatts and allow a system to serve adjacent sites, providing more flexibility with system configurations. The province is also exploring ways to promote community generation of electricity from renewable or alternative sources, such as solar or wind, by communities or organizations.

The Alberta Utilities Commissionexternal link icon (AUC), the provincial regulator, is responsible to collect and report information on installed generation capacity, electricity generation and sales.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the province's electricity system operator is responsible for the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of Alberta’s interconnected electric system and wholesale electricity market. It is a not-for-profit organization. They offer electricity information and reports on a wide range of topics, including an Annual market statistics reportexternal link icon.