Utility companies voice cautious support for Alberta climate change plans

CALGARY – Members of Alberta’s utility sector are voicing their support for the NDP government’s climate change plans, including phasing out coal power by 2030.

Representatives from Atco Power, Altalink and the renewable energy sector were on hand Monday as Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd reiterated the government’s plan to see the province powered up to 30 per cent by renewables and the rest likely by natural gas.

Altalink chief executive Scott Thon said Alberta has one of the best renewable resources in North America and that the plan sets a high bar for other regions to reach.

Wayne Stensby, managing director of Atco Power’s global electricity business, praised the government’s thorough consultation process and said the plan provides the certainty needed to attract investment.

McCuaig-Boyd said she is committed to rolling out the transition in a way that maintains reasonable utility prices and not unnecessarily strand capital.

The government plans to appoint a facilitator to help in the transition and to negotiate with utility companies during the coal phase-out.