Media Release

Sep 27, 2007

Pembina Institute Applauds the Removal of Alberta's Wind Cap

The Pembina Institute applauds the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO) on removing the unnecessary cap on wind power in Alberta, as a positive step in allowing sustainable energy growth in the province. Upgrading transmission capacity, setting a fair and equitable market framework that allows wind and other renewables to readily access the grid and recognizing the inherent benefits of renewable, clean power are all important next steps in ensuring the long-term health of wind and other sustainable energy sources in Alberta.

"While the news is encouraging, as a province we are now just stepping back up to the plate that we had backed away from over a year ago," says Tim Weis, Senior Technical and Policy Analyst at the Pembina Institute. "There is lots of work still to be done, and we have to make up for the time we lost since the threshold was first imposed."

Alberta was the only jurisdiction in North America to put a limit on wind power and in doing so had significantly slowed the rate of wind energy growth, at a time when the province is struggling to find new sources of electricity.

The cap was imposed in 2005 when the AESO feared it would not be able to ensure grid-stability as wind energy levels increased. AESO's September 26th announcement demonstrates that these fears were premature and that the AESO, like other electrical system operators around the world can find ways to incorporate renewable energy into their grids as these technologies become more and more mainstream.

"Alberta has the best wind and solar resources in Canada and needs to start thinking about how to best take advantage of these renewable resources as we move into a world that will be increasingly demanding low-carbon, sustainable energy" Marlo Raynolds, the executive director of the Pembina Institute said. "AESO's announcement is a positive first step in that direction."

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For more information contact:

Tim Weis, P.Eng. Senior Technical and Policy Advisor
780-485-9610 ext 103
timw@pembina.org 

Marlo Raynolds, Ph.D. Executive Director
403-269-3344 ext 113
marlor@pembina.org