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Business Renewables Centre-Canada reacts to AUC interim information requirements

Public News
September 7, 2023
Solar energy project

MEDIA RELEASE

CALGARY — JORDEN DYE, acting director of the Business Renewables Centre-Canada, made the following statement in response to the Alberta Utilities Commission announcement September 6 about the Interim information requirements, which immediately apply to all new applications. 

"The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has introduced further uncertainty by saying applications for new power plants that were filed before August 3, 2023, may be required to respond to these interim information requirements. It’s unclear how the AUC will decide what projects will be subject to the new requirements.  

“A lot of the information requirements are, frankly, reasonable to ask and have been asked of projects in the past. But we need to see the full inquiry process as soon as possible. This sporadic trickle of information isn’t good for market certainty. 

“Some of the new information requirements introduced by the AUC lack clarity and raise a host of new questions for renewable energy developers. For example, the technical requirements for pristine viewscapes appear arbitrary. How does one decide if a project ‘imposes’ upon a pristine viewscape? The new requirement is laid out in two sentences and does not offer details on such things as whether or not there is a set distance at which an imposition is implied. 

“It’s also unclear how answers will be weighed. Is a project application going to be rejected if certain standards are not met? What are those standards? The application system now seems unpredictable. And unpredictable regulatory outcomes are very bad for investor confidence and represent substantial investment risk. The AUC needs to move quickly to restore investor confidence by releasing the full terms of the inquiry and clarifying the impact and scope of the new requirements.”  

Jorden Dye, acting director of the Business Renewables Centre-Canada, is available for comment.  

Quick facts 

  • Applicants for new power plant applications (applications that are filed on or after August 3, 2023), including wind, solar, thermal, hydroelectric and other power plants, will be required to satisfy the existing information requirements in Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines, as well as additional interim information requirements. 
     
  • As of the second quarter of 2023, corporate renewable energy deals in Alberta have supported nearly $4.7 billion in new capital investment and provided 5,300 jobs (since 2019). 
     
  • There are currently 75 solar and 20 wind projects that have been announced or are in the pipeline for regulatory approval in Alberta, according to the latest Alberta Electric System Operator long-term adequacy quarterly report.  

Background 

The Business Renewables Centre-Canada (BRC-Canada) exists to enable businesses and institutions to access renewable energy for their emissions reduction needs across Canada. This means working closely with buyers and developers of renewables and assisting them in shortening their learning curves as they figure out the best path to power purchase agreements. Our growing organization currently has about 60 participants from across all sectors of the Canadian economy.   

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Contact 

Hanneke Brooymans 
Senior Communications Lead, Pembina Institute 
587-336-4396 

Background 

Statistics: See our Deal Tracker web page for quarterly updates on community benefits. 
Submission: BRC-Canada submission to AUC on approval pause 
Fact sheet: Alberta's Corporate Renewables Procurement Advantage  
Fact sheet: Enabling Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement Across Canada 
Fact sheet: Designing Programs for Corporate Renewables Procurement