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8 August 20232 minute read

Alberta pauses approvals of new renewable electricity generation projects

On August 3, 2023, the Alberta provincial government announced that all approvals for new renewable electricity generation projects over one megawatt would be paused until the end of February 2024 (see Order In Council 171/2023 and 172/2023 for details). The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) was instructed to review the current policies and procedures for the development of renewable electricity projects to ensure that future developments address the concerns of companies, municipalities, and landowners alike.

The six-month suspension for new approvals comes in response to a letter to the Minister of Energy from the AUC outlining their desire for clarified policies for renewable energy development, as well as concerns raised by municipalities and landowners around responsible land use. The Alberta Electric System Operator also supported the pause.   

The review by the AUC will include a review of:

  • power plan development on agricultural or ‎environmental land and on Crown land;
  • the impact of power plant development on Alberta’s pristine viewscapes;‎
  • mandatory reclamation security requirements for power plants‎, and;
  • the impact of the increasing growth of renewables on Alberta’s generation ‎supply mix and electricity system reliability.‎
The government has stated that it anticipates the inquiry will create balanced policy decisions informed by local and provincial stakeholders ensuring the efficient development of new renewable energy generation projects in Alberta.