Thursday, December 21, 2017

Enel awarded two 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreements for Pincher wind farms

EGP-NA's 76.2 MW Castle Rock Ridge wind farm in Pincher Creek, AB. Photo courtesy of Enel Green Power North America, Inc.

Chris Davis - On December 13 the Government of Alberta announced the results of the first round of the Renewable Energy Program, which is part of Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan. Three companies were successful in their record low bids to provide renewable energy to Alberta consumers. Enel Green Power North American (EGPNA) has been awarded two 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreements (RESAs) for 146 MW of new wind capacity at wind farm developments located north and east of Pincher Station, expected to generate around 555 GWh per year. Capital Power will build a 201-megawatt wind project 60 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat. EDP Renewables Canada Ltd. will build a 248-megawatt wind farm east of Hanna. According to an EGPNA press release, overall investment in the two Pincher Creek wind farms will amount to approximately 170 million US dollars, which is approximately 218 million Canadian dollars at today's exchange rate. The Government of Alberta anticipates the creation of approximately 740 jobs related to the four  projects.

The two Pincher Creek EGPNA facilities are expected to more than double the company’s capacity in Canada, which currently stands at more than 103 MW.

According to the government's press release, the weighted average price of 3.7 cents per kilowatt-hour "are the lowest ever recorded in Canada and are among the lowest prices in North America and around the world."  The projects are expected to result in approximately "$1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta".
“These prices are beyond expectations, highlighting the strong potential of renewable power in Alberta, the quality of the competitive process and the positive view that investors have of our province. This is a win for power generators, a win for the environment and a win for Albertans.” - Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy
According to EGPNA, "This award is a first of its kind for EGPNA in North America and will more than double EGPNA’s capacity in Canada. The new wind capacity will be generated by two wind projects: the 115 MW Riverview Wind project and the 30.6 MW Phase 2 of the Castle Rock Ridge wind project, which is an expansion of EGPNA’s existing 76.2 MW Castle Rock Ridge wind farm. The facilities, both located in Pincher Creek, Alberta, are expected to enter into service by 2019."

Wherever EGPNA operates, the company is committed to bringing value and having a positive impact on the local community. EGPNA partners with and develops a dialogue with the community, so that investments provide effective solutions to shared needs. - Enel Green Power North America
“This Canadian award is a major milestone for our company, as it is the first regulated renewables tender we have ever won in the Country,” according to Antonio Cammisecra, Enel’s Head of Global Renewable Energies Division Enel Green Power (“EGP”). “We are thrilled to be investing once again in the Canadian energy economy and to continue our growth here in Alberta. We have experienced unprecedented development in North and Central America from Canada to the USA and Mexico over the last years and this award is yet another example of our success and global competitiveness.”

Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) graphic showing locations of awarded projects

Enel is an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas. Enel Green Power was formed in 2008 and is the renewable energies division of the Enel Group. According to Wikipedia, "In 2011 Enel became part of the United Nations Global Compact, a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable policies worldwide."

Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of nearly 40 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants. - Enel Green Power press release
Locally, on November 14 council for the Town of Pincher Creek went in camera, afterwards deciding to authorize their administration to "proceed with the Enel Alberta Wind Inc. lease assignment, pursuant to Section 7.1 of the lease, to Riverview Limited Partnership, an affiliate of Enel Alberta Wind Inc."  Town council also went in camera to discuss a land issue related to Enel Alberta Wind Inc. on November 27.

According to a Canadian Energy Perspectives article by Kimberly J. Howard, twelve proponents submitted bid prices for 26 projects in the RFP (Request for Proposals) stage of REP (Renewable Energy Program) Round 1. Details for when round 2 is to be held have not been announced but are expected in early 2018. According to Howard, "With stunningly low prices, we anticipate that the Government of Alberta may seek to launch Round 2 as soon as possible to continue progressing toward meeting its target of 30% renewable electricity by 2030." She says each of the chosen projects "can be connected to the existing transmission system with no new transmission costs or upgrade requirements" nut cautions that "Albertans would be prudent not to treat these very low prices as the market benchmark," because to meet its objectives the Alberta government will have to consider projects that "cannot be achieved solely through such selection criteria".  According to a September 2016 Government of Alberta press release, "A firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030."

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