2016 has been full of promising news for Canadian wind power
developers. In July 2016, Environment and Climate Change Minister
Catherine McKenna announced that Canada will have a national price
on carbon before the end of the year. The federal government's
announcement comes on the heels of those by the governments of
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and British Columbia regarding
climate change action plans at the provincial level. This is
coupled with the recent publication of a report commissioned by the
Canadian Wind Energy Association, which concludes that Canada could
get up to 35 per cent of its energy from wind power while
maintaining grid reliability.
In Alberta and Ontario in particular, competitive financial
incentive programs supported by the provincial governments are
expected to spur the development of wind and other renewable energy
projects. These programs were discussed in our August 2016
Blakes Bulletin: September Deadline: Last Chance to Participate
in Ontario's Large Renewable Procurement Program and in
our June 2016 Whitepaper: Predictions for Alberta's
Renewable Electricity Program.
Successful bidders in the aforementioned programs will be
required to obtain the regulatory, environmental, municipal and
ancillary approvals necessary to construct and operate their
proposed renewable energy projects.
In Alberta, wind power proponents have sometimes encountered
opposition to their projects on a range of issues, including
potential noise, infrasound and environmental impacts, including
effects on wetlands and wildlife. Even if successful in the face of
such opposition in obtaining principal approval of their projects
from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), wind power proponents
are faced with a number of potential regulatory hurdles on the path
to construction, operation and interconnection.
This article seeks to identify and provide insight into two such
challenges that arise in the time between receiving regulatory
approval and the commencement of construction: (1) responding to
and incorporating technological developments and (2) the potential
for intervening residential developments within a project area.
1. TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS
Wind turbine design and efficiency has dramatically evolved
since Canada's first commercial wind power project was
constructed in Pincher Creek, Alberta in 1993. The Cowley Ridge
wind farm, decommissioned earlier in 2016, consisted of 57
375-kilowatt (kW) turbines, mounted on 24.5-metre lattice towers,
and had a generation capacity of 16 megawatts (MW). Conversely, the
AUC's most recent wind power plant approval was issued in
respect of a project consisting of 50 2.4-MW turbines mounted on
91-metre towers, with a generation capacity of 120 MW. Proposals
for projects utilizing turbines of three MW or more are
increasingly common, with even larger capacity turbines being
utilized in offshore projects.
Please join members of the Blakes Commercial Real Estate group as they discuss five key provisions of a commercial real estate purchase agreement that are often the subject of much negotiation but are sometimes misunderstood.
Emotional culture is influenced in great part by the mindset and actions of leadership, although employees also play more of a role than they may realize in creating the culture that exists in the group.
The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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