Selling Electricity for Nothing in Alberta: More Zero Dollar Hours in 2017

Earlier this month the National Energy Board (NEB) issued a news release drawing attention to the fact that Alberta wholesale electricity prices have already set an annual record this year for the number of hours that generators received zero dollars for the power they generated.   According to the Market Surveillance Administrator’s Q2/17 Quarterly Report… Read More

AESO Issues its Long-Term Outlook For Electricity in Alberta

What is the Long-term Outlook? At least every two years the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) shares with the market its long-term (20 year) forecast of Alberta’s electricity demand and the generation capacity needed to meet that demand.  The forecast is called the Long-term Outlook (“LTO”), and the AESO uses it to help guide transmission… Read More

Time Out Please: AESO Offers Generators Some Connection Flexibility

New electricity generation projects in Alberta are required to complete a gated six stage connection process in Alberta (Connection Process) before they can be connected to the grid. There are actually seven stages, if you count what the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) calls Stage 0. The Connection Process was implemented by the AESO in… Read More

Balancing Pool Proposes to Terminate Sundance PPAs with TransAlta

AlbertaPowerMarket.com previously described here how the Balancing Pool, a public body here in Alberta, has become a very important player in the Alberta electricity market.    We also promised to update you on important Balancing Pool developments.  Earlier this week, when our neighbours to the South were celebrating July 4th, the Balancing Pool announced that, subject… Read More

Is There a Place for Geothermal Energy in Alberta’s Electricity Future?

The Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO’s) Renewable Electricity Program (REP) and Alberta Infrastructure’s 135,000 MWh solar procurement highlight Alberta’s new willingness to encourage and financially support renewable electricity development in the province. Though wind and solar have been the focus of Alberta’s renewable electricity story to date, geothermal proponents have also been promoting the potential… Read More

Unpacking Distributed Generation: The Alberta Utilities Commission’s Challenge

What is the AUC doing? The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has been requested by the Province to hold an inquiry into and report on matters relating to distribution system-connected generation (“DG”) in Alberta.  Facilitating significant growth in DG would help the Province achieve its goal of having 30% of Alberta-generated electricity be from renewable sources… Read More

Economic Withholding by Generators in Alberta’s Electricity Market

Economic withholding is now a questionable pricing strategy for generators to use in Alberta due to the May 26, 2017 decision of Alberta’s Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) to revoke its Offer Behaviour Enforcement Guidelines (OBEG). Economic withholding has not been expressly prohibited by the MSA, but the revocation of OBEG by the MSA means that… Read More

Quantifying and Pricing the Dispatch Risk to Generators in Alberta’s RESA

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is not accepting any further comments on the contract, called the Renewable Electricity Support Agreement (RESA), which it will award to the winners of the REP Round 1 procurement currently underway for 400 MW of renewable electricity in Alberta. While the AESO did issue and consult on “key provision… Read More

Update On Alberta’s Solar PV Electricity Procurement

Alberta is in the middle of procuring 135,000 MWh per annum of solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) electricity. This procurement dedicated to solar should not be confused with the REP Round 1 procurement that is also currently underway in Alberta for 400 MW of renewable electricity. The Solar PV procurement was first announced in October 2016.… Read More

Making Sense Of The Recent Coal-To-Gas Conversion Announcements In Alberta

This spring has been “coal-to-gas conversion season” in Alberta.  First, TransAlta announced in April that it would be accelerating the conversion of its wholly owned coal-fired generation plants to gas prior to the end of their useful lives. TransAlta plans to convert Sundance Units 3 to 6 and Keephills Units 1 and 2 to gas… Read More