October 8, 2007

Alberta removes 900-MW threshold on wind power generation

CALGARY, ALTA-The Alberta government has removed its 900-megawatt (MW) threshold on wind power generation, a move the province's wind producers say will act as a major boost for the industry. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) imposed the 900-MW threshold in 2006 as a temporary measure to ensure the reliability of Alberta's electric system as additional wind power was added to the power grid. Then, in February of this year, AESO and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) launched Canada's first advanced wind forecasting study 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," said AESO CEO Dale McMaster. Alberta expects to connect than 500 MW of wind power to the provincial grid by the end of this year, making it the nation's leader with over 4% of its total installed generation capacity coming from wind power. The national average is only 1%.

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