January 21st, 2021

Regional economic challenges SACPA topic

By Kuhl, Nick on February 20, 2020.

Lethbridge Herald

Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development (AlbertaSW) is a partnership of 16 towns, villages and rural municipal districts bordering on B.C. and Montana.

Today, during the regular weekly Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs session, set for noon at the Royal Canadian Legion, speaker Bev Thornton will present “Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainability and Economic Development.”

Thornton is the executive director of Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance. She has worked with this group since its inception in 2000.

The organization has received over 30 provincial, national and international awards for projects that work to advance economic development in key industry sectors in the southwest region: agriculture, renewable energy, clean technology and tourism. Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent has been named as a Top 100 Global Sustainable Tourism Destination for 2019.

In 2006, AlbertaSW, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow formed the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP). It has gathered information on new solar and wind projects to illustrate the value of local energy assets.

The total capital expenditure of the nine projects in progress (six solar, three wind) is $1.56 billion. Regional economic impacts, from a combination of factors (annual land lease revenues, tax assessment for municipalities, construction, ongoing operations, jobs) is estimated at $239 million between 2019 and 2022.

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