Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid Amendment Effective as of March 6

March 8, 2024

The Alberta government has proclaimed the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, effective March 6. The act and its accompanying regulatory amendments will help Alberta’s electricity system adapt to new technologies and the changing ways that consumers interact with the grid. By modernizing Alberta’s electricity grid, with the input of Albertans and industry stakeholders, Alberta’s government is continuing to work towards a carbon-neutral electricity grid by 2050.

“By proclaiming this legislation, we are taking another step towards ensuring an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity system that will meet the needs of Albertans while encouraging innovation and investment in the energy sector. This legislation is just one piece of our larger effort to modernize Alberta’s electricity system.”

Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Affordability and Utilities

Through this legislation, Alberta’s government is supporting affordability, encouraging investment and building grid capacity in several ways. This includes allowing Alberta businesses to build more energy storage and more on-site power generation with the option to sell excess power to the grid. Energy storage is a key tool for grid stability and reliability by storing under-utilized power for later use and responding immediately to unexpected shortages like during the January 13 cold snap which resulted in a provincewide grid alert.

“The Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act introduces critical provisions for unlimited self-supply and export, providing large industrial operations the flexibility and choice essential for optimizing electricity costs and maintaining competitiveness within the province. This legislative change is foundational for ensuring a more resilient, efficient and sustainable electricity market in Alberta.”

Megan Gill, executive director, Alberta Direct Connect Consumer Association (ADC)

The newly proclaimed regulations will also provide greater opportunities for commercial businesses to generate their own power with the option to benefit from selling their excess energy to the grid. Not only does this benefit Albertans by reducing demand on the system and therefore reducing the cost of electricity, but it is yet another reason why Alberta continues to be a destination of choice for investment.

“We are pleased that Bill 22 has been proclaimed and energy storage can now play a much larger role in delivering value to Alberta electricity consumers. Our members will deploy these innovative technologies to reduce power costs, support low-cost renewable integration, optimize wires investments and keep lights on across the province.”

Vittoria Bellissimo, president and CEO, CanREA

By proclaiming the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, Alberta’s government is following through on its commitment to wind-down the Balancing Pool and stand up for Alberta taxpayers. Further, the proclamation will allow the Minister of Affordability and Utilities to continue proactive transmission and distribution planning. Energy storage complements this proactive planning by providing non-wire solutions, reducing the need to build new infrastructure. This will maximize the use of Alberta’s existing grid infrastructure while minimizing the need for costly upgrades, saving Alberta ratepayers their hard-earned dollars. 

“Given that ATCO Electric’s large and remote service territory spans more than two-thirds of the province but serves only 10 per cent of Alberta’s population, it’s crucial to continue our grid modernization efforts with new systems and technologies that can drive long-term affordability and reliability. That’s why we are looking forward to working with the Government of Alberta – ensuring the implementation of Bill 22 and other energy initiatives continue to bring meaningful benefits to residential and industrial customers alike.”

Melanie Bayley, president, ATCO Electric

“As Alberta’s largest electric distribution service provider, FortisAlberta supports Albertans in the ongoing energy transition every day. We are pleased to have been engaged in the government-led consultations that informed the province’s new energy policies, and look forward to ensuring our customers continue to receive affordable and reliable service using innovative approaches to optimizing the grid.”

Janine Sullivan, president and CEO, FortisAlberta

Quick facts

  • Alberta currently has 190 MW of energy storage connected to the grid, with 398 MW more with approvals and 140 MW under construction. Energy storage currently connected to the grid often supplies contingency reserve services to support grid stability.


Related Articles