by Daniel J. Graeber
Edmonton, Alberta (UPI) Dec 22, 2016
A rule change means consumers in Alberta can have more flexibility when it comes to how they generate their own forms of green electricity, the government said.
The provincial government amended regulations governing low-carbon power sources to allow for more flexibility in grid connectivity and power limits, increasing micro-generation size limits from 1 megawatt to 5 MW.
The government said the revisions aim to give Albertans more options when it comes to drawing on their own sources of green electricity
"These changes will provide even more opportunity for Albertans to reduce their reliance on the grid and benefit from the choice to generate clean electricity," Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said in a statement. "They provide more options and enable larger projects, and will contribute to our province's target of 30 percent renewable electricity by 2030."
A five-member task force is working in Alberta to help steer research, development and deployment of technology that could be used to advance a low-carbon economy in Alberta. The micro-generation overhaul came as a result of advisory panel recommendations to the provincial government.
The government in September unveiled a $23 million package to help pay for long-term, locally developed projects meant to create jobs and diversify the provincial economy. While much of the region relies in part on the energy sector, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the core component of economic difficulties was the lack of diversification.
Microgrids can offer a greater degree of efficiency than centralized grids that require significant levels of investment in new capital facilities and equipment for broad-based renewable energy use.
Alberta's government said small-scale power generation has increased on average 70 percent per year since 2009. Provincial records show 1,700 micro-power sites installed so far, which are collectively generating more than 16 MW of electricity.
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