Solar and wind projects bring big tax revenues in southern Alberta, analysis says

Press Coverage
October 26, 2023
St. Albert Gazette

Renewable energy projects have been a boon to municipal tax revenue in southern Alberta.

In 2022, wind and solar operations brought in over $28 million in tax revenue to Alberta municipalities, almost three times the amount estimated in 2017, according to an analysis from the Business Renewables Centre-Canada (BRC-Canada), a Pembina Institute initiative. 

Using the tax assessment value of each project and local mill rates, the group calculated how much was paid to municipalities. The proportion of tax revenues coming from renewables ranges from 0.01 per cent in Wood Buffalo to 50 per cent in the County of Forty Mile No. 8, with most high earners found in southern parts of the province.

“Eight of the 18 districts with renewable energy projects are already seeing over $1 million of revenue,” said Jorden Dye, director of BRC-Canada.

“And because this is the 2022 assessment, there are lots of projects that have already finished construction but weren't operating for a full year for them to be included in the property assessments,” he said.

The Travers solar farm, the largest solar project in Canada, hadn’t been operating long enough to be included in the assessment, said Dye. Even without including the Travers project, Vulcan County drew 15 per cent of its tax revenue from renewables in 2022, according to the analysis.

“As we look forward, and more counties drive past that million-dollar mark, we're talking about a significant value for these municipalities,” Dye said.

“It's a good thing for the county as a whole, because our main taxes came from oil and gas, and that has dropped significantly. So, it's nice to see the renewables pick that up,” said Craig Widmer, reeve of County of Forty Mile No. 8.

Read more here: