Alberta, Canada Aims For 50% Solar Power

Alberta has very high power needs and believes solar is the answer to their problems.  Here's an excerpt:

Government of Alberta posts request for information to explore the possibility of using solar energy to meet half of its energy needs, replacing existing green energy contracts that are set to expire.

The government of Alberta, a province in Western Canada, has this week posted a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain advice on the feasibility of using solar energy to power 50% of government operations.

Despite being Canada’s fourth-most populous province, Alberta currently has very minimal solar capacity installed, with the bulk of PV progress in the country currently centered largely on Ontario. However, with existing green energy contracts set to expire by the end of next year, ministers have eyed solar energy as a clean way to generate the 135,000 MWh of power required under the two green energy contracts.

Alberta Infrastructure has been supplying the government with renewable facilities since 2009, chiefly via wind power. But solar’s chance to shine has never been explored in the province, which boasts some of the best levels of irradiation in the nation.

“The Prairies have the best solar resources in Canada and our government is committed to providing opportunities for the emerging solar industry to take advantage of this natural resource,” said minister of environment and parks and minister responsible for the climate change office, Shannon Phillips.

John Gorman, CEO of CanSIA (the Canadian Solar Industries Association), welcomed the plans. “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 decline,” he said, adding that a solar farm able to meet half of the Government of Alberta’s power needs would also deliver a number of other ‘firsts’ in the province.

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