The Government of Alberta has put a pause on the approvals of renewable electricity generation projects over one megawatt until February 29, 2024.
The decision was made based on a letter from the Alberta Utilities Commision regarding concerns raised from municipalities and landowners about the rapid pace of renewables development.
“Participants in our public hearings have increasingly raised concerns about the impacts and pace of renewable generation development. We are pleased to support the government in canvassing relevant issues for its development of policy to ensure the economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta,” said Carolyn Dahl Rees, Chair of Alberta Utilities Commission.
The Alberta Government has stated that future renewable projects will be able to move forward at a pace that is conducive to business while maintaining responsible environmental stewardship and preserving Alberta’s reliable electricity supply following the process.
The AUC inquiry will include reviewing the use of agricultural land and public land for wind and solar projects, land reclamation and the role of municipal governments in land selection for project development and review.
More specifically, the inquiry will inform government policy decisions around the ongoing economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta and will look at issues, including:
Development of power plants on specific types or classes of agricultural or environmental land.
The impact of power plant development on Alberta’s pristine viewscapes.
Mandatory reclamation security requirements for power plants.
Development of power plants on lands held by the Crown.
The impact of the increasing growth of renewables on Alberta’s generation supply mix and electricity system reliability.