Globe and Mail: Edmonton signs wind-power deal in growing renewables trend
The City of Edmonton is taking a novel approach to lowering its emissions, inking a deal with Ontario-based Capstone Infrastructure Corp. to buy up wind power and help decarbonize city operations in an Alberta first.
The city’s decision reflects the stunning surge in a niche renewable-power business sector that was, until a few years ago, all-but non-existent in Canada. Over the past two years, the growth in corporate renewable-power purchase agreements (PPAs) has led to two gigawatts of new clean energy feeding into Alberta’s grid – more than enough electricity to power all the homes in Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer combined.
Under a corporate renewable PPA, a company or institution agrees to purchase electricity directly from a green energy generator. Power generated on the site feeds back into the grid, offsetting the amount of electricity consumed by that company.
The deals are often favoured by the likes of banks and companies in the fossil-fuel and technology space as a tool to lower their emission footprints.
But the City of Edmonton’s agreement with Capstone to buy 78 megawatts of green power from the company’s 192 MW Wild Rose 2 Wind Farm is the largest long-term procurement of renewable energy by a Canadian city to date – and those in the sector expect more municipalities to follow in the footsteps of Alberta’s capital.