Corporate excitement about renewable energy builds in AlbertaBusiness Renewables Centre Canada event signals a bright future for expanding industry

Blog - Nov. 25, 2019 - By Julia-Maria Becker
Business Renewables Centre Canada event

Corporate and institutional buyers, service providers and developers discuss  Canadian large-scale renewable procurement opportunities, barriers and market issues at a Business Renewables Centre Canada event.

Less than 24 hours before the first Business Renewables Centre Canada all-members event in Calgary last month, Renewable Energy Systems and BHE Canada announced the $200-million Rattlesnake Ridge wind energy project, expected to break ground in 2020 and create over 150 direct jobs. The excitement in the room was palpable as BRC Canada members congratulated the Rattlesnake Ridge proponents, the announcement symbolizing the increasing faith corporations have in the future of renewable energy, particularly in Alberta which has some of the best wind and solar potential in Canada. Combined with a deregulated electricity market, with power purchase agreements (PPAs) that give corporations the ability to procure renewable energy directly from the developer, Alberta has a perfect platform for renewable energy growth.

Already, over 10 gigawatts of renewable development projects are in the pipeline and ready for buyers in Alberta — a huge leap from the mere 1.6 gigawatts of wind and solar Alberta currently has, explained BRC Canada founding director Sara Hastings-Simon in her state of the market opening address.   

Momentum is clearly building. Representatives from over 70 companies — including big players like Amazon, Marriott International, Cargill, RBC, Maple Leaf Foods, LafargeHolcim, and municipalities such as the towns of Canmore and Banff — came together at the BRC Canada event to find out how they can reduce emissions associated with their electricity consumption, or to learn more about how large-scale renewables provide an offsetting opportunity for heavy emitters. 

Similar to trends we have seen in the U.S., Canadian companies are embracing renewable energy for a variety of reasons, including pressure from customers and/or employees to be more sustainable, senior leadership, and the desire to ensure market competitiveness and price stability. Other motivating factors include the rising price of carbon pollution in Canada, the decreasing cost of technology, and historically low pricing for PPAs. 

Developers and intermediaries, such as Greengate Power, Bullfrog Power, EDF Renewables, LevelTen, Samsung and others, gained insights into what buyers are looking for at the BRC Canada event

About 40 per cent of attendees were interested or active buyers from the finance, retail, oil and gas, properties, food and hospitality sectors, from tech companies, and municipalities. Just as many renewable energy developers and service providers attended. The event gave attendees the chance to learn from each other how to operate in Canada’s rapidly emerging non-utility renewable energy market, and provided a forum for BRC Canada to share important information about accelerating large-scale renewable energy projects. 

BRC Canada attendees asked what they thought of renewable opportunities in Alberta.

BRC Canada will continue supporting the growth of large-scale renewable energy procurement across Canada by generating awareness, building a strong community, and providing effective tools and services like our member-only marketplace for buyers and developers to promote both their needs and current project offerings. We are excited about the opportunities these connections and tools provide to corporations. Ultimately, together we are decarbonizing electricity production, investing in local communities and creating jobs by putting Alberta on the radar for international investment in renewable energy projects.

Learn more about our member benefits.

Julia-Maria Becker
Julia-Maria Becker

Until 2020, Julia-Maria Becker was the director of the Pembina Institute's clean economy program in Alberta, and the director of the Business Renewables Centre Canada.


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