Alberta's provincial government has officially removed a 900 MW cap on wind power generation.
"This government supports the development of renewable and alternative energy sources, and through this action, Alberta will continue to lead the nation in clean, sustainable wind-generated electricity," says Alberta's Energy Minister Mel Knight. "This important step is significant given the unique challenges in managing wind integration in Alberta."
In 2006, the 900 MW threshold was put in place by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) as a temporary measure to ensure the reliability of Alberta's electric system as additional wind power was added to the power grid. AESO and the Canadian Wind Energy Association launched a wind forecasting study in February 2007 to provide the information needed to address reliability issues.
"Through this work and other initiatives, we are now confident we have the information required to remove the threshold on wind power in Alberta," says Dale McMaster, AESO's CEO. "We will be implementing measures that will enable us to add more wind to Alberta's power supply, while maintaining reliable grid operation and ensuring the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of the Alberta electricity market."