The Government of Alberta’s full news release follows.

A Request for Information (RFI) to provide advice on the potential cost and best approach for procuring solar power for half of government operations will be posted today.

This will explore the opportunity to use solar energy to replace two existing green energy contracts that expire by the end of 2017 with solar power, and could lead to the first solar farm in Western Canada.

The total consumption for the two contracts is 135,000 megawatt hours a year.

The process, if successful in identifying a supplier or suppliers that can construct and operate a solar farms that meet the province’s economic criteria, could give rise to 100 MW of new installed generation capacity in the province – enough to power 18,750 Alberta homes for a year.

“With this RFI, Alberta is leading by example and exploring how to create an opportunity for an emerging technology, drive new innovation and diversify our electricity sector,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure.

Alberta Infrastructure began using electricity from renewable sources in 2006 and its commitment to using renewable energy was instrumental in helping establish some of Alberta’s first wind farms. Since 2009, Alberta Infrastructure has supplied government-owned facilities with 100 per cent renewable electricity.

“The Prairies have the best solar resources in Canada and our government is committed to providing opportunities for the emerging solar industry to take advantage of this natural resource,” added Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office.

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