By combining powers, small Alberta towns can draw in renewable power projects
For small towns in Alberta, attracting renewable energy projects can be tricky.
Developers often want to build solar or wind farms near communities with larger populations — and more demand — and small towns may lack the funds, expertise and capacity to set up these deals, according to a recent report published by the Pembina Institute, the Business Renewables Centre-Canada, and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.
But the report also proposes a way around this issue, a concept its authors call aggregation. In short, the tactic involves several smaller, neighbouring communities partnering together to pool their resources, and the collective demand of their communities, to attract renewable energy developments.
Alternatively, several smaller communities can band together with a larger “anchor” community in this way, according to Binnu Jeyakumar, one of the report’s authors and the Pembina Institute’s electricity program director.