Self-generation and sale of excess power in Alberta enabled under proposed legislation

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Dale Nally, associate minister of electricity and natural gas, introduced Bill 22 which aims to expand electrical generation and increase competition in Alberta.  (CBC - image credit)
Dale Nally, associate minister of electricity and natural gas, introduced Bill 22 which aims to expand electrical generation and increase competition in Alberta. (CBC - image credit)

Companies would be able to generate and store their own electricity and sell excess back to the power grid under a new bill introduced in the legislature Wednesday.

The practice, known as self supply with export, is enabled under Bill 22, Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta's Electricity Grid) Amendment Act.

The proposed legislation is a revision of Bill 86, which was introduced but never debated in the legislature.

Dale Nally, Alberta's associate minister for natural gas and electricity, says allowing self-supply will increase competition and supply in the electricity market.

He said it will also provide a way to store electricity generated through renewable sources of energy like wind and solar.

"More generators contributing to the supply will also help keep prices more stable and affordable in the future," Nally said.

Nally said the government has no timelines or targets for adding capacity. He said Bill 22 enables industry to enter the market, which will in turn determine the prices.

Industries interested in self-supply include cryptocurrency, pulp and paper and forestry, Nally said.

Bill 22 also adds provisions for the dissolution of the Balancing Pool, the organization tasked with managing power purchase agreements under Alberta's privatized energy market.

The bill aims to transfer the Balancing Pool's other responsibilities to the Alberta Electric System Operator, Treasury Board and Finance and the Albert Utilities Commission.

Nally said the government expects to wind down the Balancing Pool by 2030.

The associate minister said the original Bill 86 was a good bill but the government heard concerns from stakeholders after they were able to read the wording of the legislation after it was introduced.

After another round of consultation, Nally said the government changed the wording so companies that were already engaging in self supply and export would be able to keep the same tariff structures they had when they entered the market.

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