July 21st, 2024

New initiatives focus on electricity system

By Lethbridge Herald on January 13, 2024.

Nathan Neudorf – UCP MLA for Lethbridge East

Happy New Year!

As we step into 2024, I am thrilled to share updates on several initiatives, particularly focusing on our electricity system. 

Since August 2023, our government has engaged in numerous inquiries and studies to develop a more comprehensive plan for the future of our electricity grid and management.

Our efforts began by requesting the Alberta Utilities Commission to study the impacts of renewable electricity generation, addressing aspects such as land use, viewscapes, reclamation costs, and intermittency. 

The findings are expected by Feb. 29.

In addition, we have tasked the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) and the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) with evaluating our energy-only market structure, pricing, and market behaviours. This analysis aims to stabilize prices and ensure Albertans receive reliable and affordable electricity.

Our comprehensive approach extends to finalizing recommendations for transmission regulations, a critical part of our grid. 

This collaborative effort, involving industry and stakeholders, covers everything from the “overbuild” of our transmission system a decade ago to technical aspects like congestion and line loss calculations.

 The review explores the significant impacts on generators, especially those engaged in renewable energy, and considers the optimal integration of these sources into our grid and energy mix. 

It also recognizes the challenges posed by the growth of renewable generation, with numerous new sites compared to the relatively few coal and natural gas generation sites. 

This expansion has resulted in a roughly 500 per cent increase in transmission costs to accommodate the growing number of these new sites. We have also completed a major review of the Regulated Rate Option (RRO), responding to its record-high price in August of last year at nearly 32 cents/kWh. 

These factors, alongside the rapid transition to greener electricity, contribute to the complexity of monthly electricity bills.

The urgency of our work is underscored by the magnitude of new renewable projects expected to come online and the associated increase in transmission costs.

 Alberta surpassed the AESO’s 2021 prediction, reaching 1,000 MW of renewables on the grid in 2022, 19 years ahead of expectations.

Ensuring a reliable, sustainable, and affordable electricity system is paramount for all Albertans’ cost of living.

 It affects everything from food and clothing to retail merchandise, manufactured goods, and industrial products.

 In 2024, we will present a comprehensive plan that combines responsibility with innovation, reliability with affordability, and lower emissions with a practical and attainable strategy.

Key elements of our plan include integrated planning for an efficient system, utilizing smart technology, and empowering consumers. 

We will focus on Demand Side Management (DSM), working with distributors on incorporating microgeneration into the grid, and leveraging microgrids to optimize our system efficiently.

 Our goal is to maximize electricity generation within our borders and collaborate with our trading partners for a sustainable future.The possibilities are vast, and the future is exciting!

 Planning, integrating new technologies, optimizing efficiencies, and ensuring a stable grid — all within the framework of affordability and reliability — are the responsible steps we have taken, and they will undoubtedly benefit all Albertans. 

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Southern Albertan

And what of the cost of the 7 month moratorium on renewable energy? $33 billion in business investment, 24,000 full-time job years, $263 million in lost municipal taxes…..
And what of the cap on electricity prices that the UCP removed?
Here’s more:
“What’s Behind the Surge in Alberta’s Electricity Prices? Power is an essential service. So why not treat it like one? At the root of the issue is Alberta’s deregulated energy market, which has resulted in market power in the hands of a few market companies.”


Pretty much the same as Notley’s nine month royalty review. 185k jobs as a start. She did this and then didn’t change a thing. Outright abuse of the economy and taxpayers.


Meaningless speaking points.


What’s pathetic about these statements is that the obvious motivation for pausing renewable generation is to appease Premier Parker and the wild west fringe movement controlling the province.

It is odd to be pretending to worry about reclaiming land on renewable sites in some remote future time, while imposing no expectations or not enforcing existing regulations on the considerable destruction of land and environment from fossil fuel production. Or disempowering municipal governments of their ability to control urban sprawl. Should we pause home building to consider how we will eventually reclaim this agricultural land?

Can’t wait for the report. Then, maybe, our MLA can redirect his attention to the impending water crisis (while giving a couple hundred $millions to expand irrigation acres) and to blame Ottawa for our problems with our electricity grid due to deregulation by ideologues of Conservative past.

Maybe the goverment can expand the mandate of the Minister of Red Tape to include Blaming Ottawa so as to relieve Mr. Neudorf and other Ministers of some of their workloads.

Last edited 6 months ago by SophieR

our grid is on the precipice because we have “extreme” cold. that is despite us getting gouged in paying for the build outs/lines of the energy oligopoly in alberta. we pay – the oligopoly rakes it in. good thing all cars are not right now electric. i am for sustainable, but sustainable needs to be the driving force, not greed and corruption.

Last edited 6 months ago by biff

The UCP needs to stop acting like the brown outs were anything but THEIR fault.
Don’t trumpet surpluses when the infrastructure is under increasing strain because of the short-sighted, populist, straw-man talking points that mean nothing.
Nathan: Tell your damned party to do it’s damned job. And stop blaming Ottawa for the things YOU are responsible for.
Get to work on applying all forms of energy and reduce our carbon reliance.
PS. Why is it we had brown outs in a province that should be immune to such things?
PSS. The UCP has made the system reliant on private market providing energy based on revenues. Which obviously placed our system in a fragile position.
Why aren’t energy companies under contract to provide energy as needed?
Instead of being “revenue reliant” (Reads “User pay more”)?
Stop being a party focused on making excuses for energy companies. Get your damned act together.

Southern Albertan

Hear, hear! Could not be said better!