April 23rd, 2024

UCP modernizing provincial power grid

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 7, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The provincial government is making efforts to help the Alberta electricity system adapt to new technologies and the changing ways consumes interact with the grid.

The UCP on Tuesday proclaimed the Electricity Statues (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act.

“By modernizing our electricity grid, with the input of Albertans and industry stakeholders, Alberta’s government is continuing to work towards a carbon-neutral electricity grid by 2050,” says the province.

The legislation is supporting affordability, encouraging investment and building grid capacity through the legislation in several ways, according to the UCP.

The legislation allows businesses to build more energy storage and on-site power generation with the option to sell excess electricity to the grid.

“By proclaiming this legislation, we are taking another step towards ensuring an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity system that will meet the needs of Albertans while encouraging innovation and investment in the energy sector. This legislation is just one piece of our larger effort to modernize Alberta’s electricity system,” said Lethbridge East MLA and Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf in a release.

According to the Alberta Direct Connect Consumer Association, the Act “introduces critical provisions for unlimited self-supply and export, providing large industrial operations the flexibility and choice essential for optimizing electricity costs and maintaining competitiveness within the province. This legislative change is foundational for ensuring a more resilient, efficient and sustainable electricity market in Alberta.”

According to the government, the proclamation will allow the Minister of Affordability and Utilities to “continue proactive transmission and distribution planning. Energy storage complements this proactive planning by providing non-wire solutions, reducing the need to build new infrastructure. This will maximize the use of Alberta’s existing grid infrastructure while minimizing the need for costly upgrades, saving Alberta ratepayers their hard-earned dollars.”

The province presently has 190 megawatts of storage connected to the electricity grid. There are 398 MW more with approvals and 140 MW under construction.

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