Mathieu Côté

Director of the Operations Program 

Clean Energy Career Profile

Ever wonder what it would be like to work as a wind turbine technician, 500 feet in the air? Or to work as a solar farm electrician, harnessing the power of the sun and using it to charge a massive on-site battery system? CanREA’s Clean Energy Career Profiles series asks Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage workers what they do, how they got into this line of work, and what advice they have for others looking to join the renewable energy and energy storage sector.  

In 2023, CanREA spoke with Mathieu Côté, Director of Operations Program, Canadian Renewable Energy Association, to find out more about his occupational journey. 

Name:Mathieu Côté
Job:Director of Operations Program
Company:Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Career journey 

Better renewable than nuclear. That was the decision made by Mathieu Côté, who started his career as a commissioning specialist (engineer) at a nuclear processing plant. The physics graduate at Dalhousie University realized just how expensive nuclear is, and how many regulatory hurdles there are to building nuclear plants. Hence the move to something more sustainable, efficient and economical — renewables. Starting his career in renewables as a customer relations coordinator in Halifax, Matt has had many roles and venues in the sector. Commercial Manager, Operations Manager, Managing Director and Business Development were all stops on his career journey through Halifax, Matane, Montreal, England, France,   and, finally, back to Montreal, where he now lives and leads CanREA’s Operations Program. 

A day in the life

Matt’s position at CanREA is constantly evolving, ensuring that no two days in his week are ever alike. Engaged with a variety of organizations, Matt plays a key role in facilitating connections between these groups and CanREA members. In leading the Operations program, Matt is engaged in files relating to health and safety, workforce development,  data collection and analysis projects. In addition, he not only organizes but actively participates in regional operator group meetings throughout Canada. Through this work, Matt engages with various stakeholders to identify challenges and host discussions on solutions, lessons learned and operational experiences. During the fall and spring, Matt frequently takes the stage as a speaker and actively participates in a diverse array of conferences, covering topics ranging from workforce development and operational experience to emphasizing the critical importance of safety within the realm of renewable energy.

Quick advice 

“Renewable energy has grown at a tremendous pace thus far and looks to grow even more in the future. This underscores the importance of engagement and communications across the sector to learn from each other, get more people involved, and keep the momentum going!” 

—Mathieu Côté

Important skills 

  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial, as Matt interacts with various stakeholders, facilitates connections, and leads discussions on complex topics within the renewable energy sector.
  • Coordination: This skill involves prioritizing activities, allocating resources effectively, and ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned and informed to achieve common goals.
  • Flexibility: This skill enables Matt to navigate uncertainties, embrace new opportunities, and adjust strategies as needed to drive success in his role.
  • Understanding complex concepts: This involves synthesizing information from diverse sources, analyzing implications, and making informed decisions to address challenges and drive innovation.

CanREA members successful in Ontario energy storage RFP

CanREA congratulates seven member companies for their success in the IESO’s LT1 procurement for energy storage in Ontario.

Toronto, May 9, 2024— The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) wishes to congratulate seven member companies who have been selected by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as part of the procurement of 1,784 MW of energy storage announced today.

“CanREA applauds the strong outcomes of the IESO’s LT1 procurement,” said Leonard Kula, CanREA’s Vice-President of Policy for Eastern Canada and Utility Affairs. “Ontario ratepayers will benefit from the reliability that these additional energy supply resources provide, especially as the Pickering nuclear station is removed from service mid-decade.”  

Through this RFP, the IESO is offering contracts to 10 battery storage facilities for a total of 1,784 MW, Canada’s largest storage procurement to date.  

Today’s announcement builds on Ontario’s acquisition of 882 MW of energy storage, as announced in May 2023.  

“CanREA members are once again at the forefront of energy storage in Ontario,” said Eric Muller, CanREA’s Director for Ontario. “CanREA is proud that all of our members’ successful bids earned full support from their local municipalities, and that seven of these projects include at least 50% Indigenous equity partnerships.” 

A total of eight successful projects are led by CanREA members. In total, projects proposed by Potentia Renewables Inc., EDP Renewables Canada Ltd., Boralex Inc., Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable Power, Neoen (in partnership with Shift Solar Inc.), and Compass Energy Consulting (affiliate with Wahgoshig Solar FIT5 LP) account for 1,384.22 MW of capacity—nearly 78% of the total announced today.   

  • CanREA Industry Leader Member Potentia Renewables is seeking to develop a 390 MW battery facility in the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal, including 50% Indigenous participation with Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. This will be the largest stand-alone storage facility in Canada. 
  • CanREA Terawatt Member EDP Renewables will seek to develop a 71.25 MW battery facility in the City of St. Thomas, including 50% Indigenous participation with Caldwell First Nation.  
  • CanREA Terawatt Member Boralex will seek to develop a 118 MW battery facility in the Township of South-West Oxford, including 50% Indigenous participation with CanREA Megawatt+ Member Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.  
  • CanREA Megawatt+ Member Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation was also successful in partnering on two additional battery facility projects: a proposed 200 MW facility in the Township of Centre Wellington and another 200 MW facility in Haldimand County.
  • CanREA Gigawatt Member Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable Power will seek to develop two battery facilities near Ottawa, of 250 MW and 150 MW respectively, both including 50% Indigenous participation with Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. 
  • Shift Solar Inc. with partner Neoen, a CanREA Gigawatt Member, will seek to develop a 380 MW battery facility near Arran-Elderslie. 
  • Wahgoshig Solar FIT5 LP, with its affiliate Compass Energy Consulting, a CanREA Gigawatt Member, will seek to develop two battery facilities: a 9.49 MW facility in the Municipality of Mississippi Mills and a 15.48 MW facility in the Township of North Glengarry. Both projects include 51% Indigenous participation with Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. 

Ontario’s energy storage procurements are expected to represent a total of 2,916 MW on the grid by 2028. This will complement the IESO’s renewable energy procurements, including 2,000 MW of new non-emitting electricity generation by 2030 expected as part of the “Long-Term 2 Request for Proposals” (LT2 RFP), as well as 1,500 MW for 2032 and an additional 1,500 MW for 2034. The LT2 RFP will also procure an additional 500-1,000 MW of capacity to be in service by 2031. 

“Affordable, clean and reliable energy storage is a key capacity resource that should be employed across Canada. It will help ensure our clean-electricity advantage continues,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO.  

CanREA represents Canada’s leading wind, solar and energy storage companies, working to build a more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity system for Ontario and across Canada.  

Quotes

“CanREA applauds the strong outcomes of the IESO’s LT1 procurement. Ontario ratepayers will benefit from the reliability that these additional energy supply resources provide, especially as Pickering is removed from service mid-decade.” 

—Leonard Kula, Vice-President of Policy for Eastern Canada and Utility Affairs, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)  

“CanREA members are once again at the forefront of energy storage in Ontario. CanREA is proud that all of our members’ successful bids earned full support from their local municipalities, and that seven of these projects include at least 50% Indigenous equity partnerships.”  

—Eric Muller, Ontario Director, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)  

“Affordable, clean and reliable energy storage is a key capacity resource that should be employed across Canada. It will help ensure our clean-electricity advantage continues.” 

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) 

For media inquiries or interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications   
Canadian Renewable Energy Association   
communications@renewablesassociation.ca   

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.   

News release: Federal Budget 2024 a step forward in keeping Canada competitive

CanREA welcomes the Federal Budget and will continue to push for acceleration of timelines.

Ottawa, April 16, 2024—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) welcomes Budget 2024, as presented today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland. Budget 2024 represents positive steps for Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage industry regarding the Investment Tax Credits (ITCs), the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program and the Green Choice Program.

First announced in last year’s Budget, Canada’s refundable ITCs for clean technologies, such as wind, solar, storage and green hydrogen, represent a Canadian response to the American incentives for credits for renewable energy and green hydrogen, per the Inflation Reduction Act 2022.

CanREA particularly commends the Government of Canada for its commitment to Indigenous economic empowerment in Budget 2024. The introduction of enabling legislation for the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program marks a significant step towards fostering economic opportunities for Indigenous communities across the country.

“We are pleased to see that the enabling legislation for the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program has been tabled as part of the Budget. The Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program is a gamechanger that will boost opportunities for Indigenous communities and companies to build the renewable energy and energy storage projects that Canada needs, both as equity partners and as developers in their own right,” said CanREA President and CEO Vittoria Bellissimo. 

There was also promising news on the timeline for the Clean Technology ITC, which was put forward in the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2023 (Bill C-59), in November 2023:

“It is reassuring to hear that the government anticipates Bill C-59 receiving Royal Assent before June 1, 2024. The passage of this bill will enable CanREA’s member companies to access the Clean Technology ITC, which will spur growth in Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage sectors,” said CanREA Federal Policy Director Fernando Melo, who was on site for the introduction of the Budget today.  

CanREA also appreciates the presentation of further details on the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit. “We look forward to the enabling legislation being tabled so that we have further details on the Clean Electricity ITC. Its speedy introduction will be critical to ensuring that Indigenous companies and corporations can fully participate in Canada’s many calls for power,” said Melo.

CanREA is also pleased that Greener Homes Initiative’s loan program will continue to be funded under Budget 2024, which proposes to provide $903.5 million to Natural Resources Canada over six years starting in 2024-25, of which $800 million will support the launch a new Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program.

This Program, which will support the direct installation of energy efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low to median incomes, represents the next phase of the Canada Greener Homes Initiative and will be co-delivered with provincial and territorial partners. It will also be complemented by CMHC’s Greener Homes Loan program, which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for energy efficiency.

“The Green Choice Program has helped thousands of Canadians go solar, and its continuation will be incredibly important for the further development of Canada’s residential solar sector,” said CanREA Director of Distributed Energy Resources, Erwin Heuck. 

While Budget 2024 did not provide the implementation legislation for the Clean Technology Manufacturing ITC, Clean Hydrogen ITC, or Clean Electricity ITC, it provides an update to the timeline for these to be legislated. CanREA will continue to advocate for accelerating the rollout of Canada’s Investment Tax Credits. 

Quotes

“We are pleased to see that the enabling legislation for the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program has been tabled as part of the Budget. This program is a gamechanger that will boost opportunities for Indigenous communities and companies to build the renewable energy and energy storage projects that Canada needs, both as equity partners and as developers in their own right.”

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

“It is reassuring to hear that the government anticipates Bill C-59 receiving Royal Assent before June 1, 2024. The passage of this bill will enable CanREA’s member companies to access the Clean Technology ITC, which will spur growth in Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage sectors. CanREA also appreciates the presentation of further details on the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit. We look forward to the enabling legislation being tabled so that we have further details on the Clean Electricity ITC. Its speedy introduction will be critical to ensuring that Indigenous companies and corporations can fully participate in Canada’s many calls for power.”

—Fernando Melo, Federal Director, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

“The Green Choice Program has helped thousands of Canadians go solar, and its continuation will be incredibly important for the further development of Canada’s residential solar sector.”

— Erwin Heuck, Director of Distributed Energy Resources, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

For interview opportunities, please contact:

Michaela Ianni, Communications Specialist
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-805-4465
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

News release: CanREA’s Operations Summit 2024 explores operating in a changing climate

Calgary hosts Canada’s largest wind, solar and energy-storage operations conference and exhibition.

Calgary, April 11, 2024—Nearly 300 people assembled in Calgary this week for CanREA’s Operations Summit, Canada’s largest conference and exhibition devoted to the operation of renewable energy and energy storage sites.

“This is the fourth annual edition of our Operations Summit, and it’s the first time we hosted in Calgary,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO. “This event brings together wind, solar and energy storage operators to learn from each other and improve how they operate facilities across Canada—making them safer, more resilient and more efficient.”

This annual CanREA event is geared for those who construct, operate and supply this country’s expanding fleet of wind, solar, and energy storage assets: these are the people who deliver the nuts and bolts of Canada’s energy transition. Fittingly, this year’s theme was “Operating in a Changing Climate.”

“Operators are on the front lines of climate change,” said Mathieu Côté, Director of CanREA’s Operators Program. “At the Operations Summit, we asked them to share the best practices, lessons learned and technologies they are using to ensure the safe, reliable and effective operations of Canada’s renewable energy sites, even as our wind and solar regimes are getting less predictable and our sites are being subjected to increasingly extreme weather events.”

Through interesting discussions and engaging presentations, the conference program covered highly technical operations topics, such as how to build a cost-effective solar maintenance program, turbine blade issues and how to avoid them, and natural disasters from a Health and Safety perspective.

It featured not one, but two National Operators Roundtables—one for wind operators and one for solar operators. Mathieu Côté led the discussion as attendees compared experiences from across the country, shared best practices, near misses and ‘good to know’ elements, brainstormed solutions to common problems, and provided feedback that will shape the future of CanREA’s Operators program.

CanREA wishes to thank all attendees, exhibitors and event sponsors for helping to make this year’s Operations Summit a success. A special thank you to Health and Safety Sponsor Liberty Power, Lunch Sponsors Pandell and Goldwind, Mobile App Sponsor Energy Safety Canada, Hospitality Sponsors EDF Renewables and SparkPower, and Session Sponsor Irth.

Don’t miss the Operations Summit 2025! To stay informed, subscribe to Watt’s On, CanREA’s events newsletter.

Photos

Photo: Nearly 300 people attended CanREA’s Operations Summit in Calgary on April 10-11, 2024, a unique conference devoted to the operation of renewable energy and energy storage sites across Canada.  

Media can contact CanREA for more high-resolution photos. A photo album from the Summit will be available soon, here.

Quotes

“This is the fourth annual edition of our Operations Summit, and it’s the first time we hosted in Calgary. This event brings together wind, solar and energy storage operators to learn from each other and improve how they operate facilities across Canada—making them safer, more resilient and more efficient.”

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association 

“Operators are on the front lines of climate change. At the Operations Summit, we asked them to share the best practices, lessons learned and technologies they are using to ensure the safe, reliable and effective operations of Canada’s renewable energy sites, even as our wind and solar regimes are getting less predictable and our sites are being subjected to increasingly extreme weather events.”

— Mathieu Côté, Operators Program Director, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

For media inquiries and interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
(613) 805-4465
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter/X and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.   

CanREA concerned about Alberta uncertainty

Restructured Energy Market and new consultation herald more upheaval for Alberta’s renewable energy industry

Banff, Alberta, March 11, 2024—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is concerned about prolonged and increasing uncertainty for Alberta’s renewable energy and energy storage industry, after new documents were released by the provincial government and the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) today.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Independent Power Producers Society of Alberta (IPPSA) in Banff today, Alberta Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf said that the province is moving ahead with significant electricity market reforms, based on recommendations from the AESO.

Specifically, in a letter to the AESO today, Minister Neudorf requested that the AESO work with industry and stakeholders to design, and submit to the government for consideration, a draft restructured energy market design based on the AESO’s Recommendation Report.

Mike Law, AESO’s President and CEO, confirmed in his address at the IPPSA conference that the AESO will run a new consultation to develop the first draft of the technical design for the “Restructured Energy Market” (REM), to be completed by fall 2024, with new market rules to come into effect in 2027.

“Today’s announcements introduced another significant layer of uncertainty for Alberta’s market, which will make the province less attractive to investors,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO.

“However, CanREA does support the AESO’s collaborative engagement approach. We expect to be at the table, working to ensure the new market design recommendations work for existing renewable energy and energy storage assets and their customers, while also providing a path forward for future investment in these critical technologies in Alberta.”

According to the AESO, these reforms will focus on supporting affordability, reliability and system decarbonization by 2050. The cornerstones of the proposed reforms include a day ahead market, an administrative scarcity pricing mechanism, and adjustments to the current pricing system.

CanREA’s priorities, going into the consultation period, include:

  • Any market reform must encourage wind, solar and energy storage technologies to play a foundational role in the electricity system of the future.
  • The AESO needs to ensure there is a path forward for renewable and energy storage investment under this new REM framework, including a workable tariff for energy storage.
  • The AESO’s REM recommendations should ensure that any new rules honour investments made by generators and their customers who have purchased electricity from these facilities via power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“These changes could provide opportunities for energy storage in Alberta, but we urge the government and the AESO to consider market structures that provide continued opportunity for renewables,” said Evan Wilson, Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs at CanREA.

“We plan to continue to engage with the provincial government and participate in all consultation processes to ensure the success for renewable energy deployment in Alberta. It is critical for Alberta to get this right if it is to remain an attractive location for international investment,” said Wilson.

In recent years, Alberta has led Canada in new renewable energy development, representing more than 90% of Canada’s growth last year alone, but its position as Canada’s clean energy powerhouse is expected to falter in the coming years as a delayed effect of the 2023-24 moratorium, a negative consequence that will only be amplified by continued policy uncertainty.

Quotes

“Today’s announcements introduced another significant layer of uncertainty for Alberta’s market, which will make the province less attractive to investors. However, CanREA does support the AESO’s collaborative engagement approach. We expect to be at the table, working to ensure the new market design recommendations work for existing renewable energy and energy storage assets and their customers, while also providing a path forward for future investment in these critical technologies in Alberta.”

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

“These changes could provide opportunities for energy storage in Alberta, but we urge the government and the AESO to consider market structures that provide continued opportunity for renewables. We plan to continue to engage with the provincial government and participate in all consultation processes to ensure the success for renewable energy deployment in Alberta. It is critical for Alberta to get this right if it is to remain an attractive location for international investment.”

—Evan Wilson, Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

For media inquiries and interview opportunities, please contact:

Bridget Wayland, Sr. Director of Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter/X and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

CanREA welcomes end of Alberta moratorium 

Many questions remain as Alberta lifts pause on renewable energy project approvals

Edmonton, Alberta, February 28, 2024—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is pleased to see the end of Alberta’s moratorium on renewable energy project approvals on February 29, as announced today by by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf.

That said, CanREA remains concerned about the considerable level of post-moratorium uncertainty that remains for new projects in the province.  

The industry is eager to resume after a seven month pause on renewable energy project approvals that created a climate of uncertainty with negative consequences for investor confidence in Alberta. 

“While the Pause has lifted, there remains significant uncertainty and risk for investors wishing to participate in Canada’s hottest market for renewables. It is critical to get these policy changes right, and to do so quickly,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO.  

Alberta currently leads Canada in new renewable energy development, representing more than 90% of Canada’s growth last year alone. While the Pause did not affect operational projects or projects already in construction, the impact of the moratorium will be seen in the coming years.  

Over the past seven months, CanREA participated actively in the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) Inquiries while continuing to meet with Premier Smith, Minister Neudorf and his staff to create a greater understanding of the importance of this industry in Alberta and clarify the consequences of the pause. 

“CanREA will continue to consult with the AUC and encourage the Province to provide clarity on policy changes that will enable paused projects to move forward, in a manner that will restore investor confidence in Alberta,” said Evan Wilson, Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs at CanREA.  

CanREA is pleased with policy announcements on the issues of crown lands, municipal participation and reclamation security, but concerned about the announcements on agricultural land bans and “pristine viewscape” setbacks. Wind energy and solar energy have a long record of co-location with productive agricultural land use. CanREA will work with the government and the AUC to seek opportunities to continue these beneficial approaches. 

CanREA is also pleased that our push for renewables on crown lands has come to fruition. We are happy for the opportunity to expand province wide, to increase geographic diversity, decrease pressures on agricultural land, and make more efficient use of the transmission system. 

Regarding reclamation security, CanREA members understand that Albertans expect developers to honour commitments to reclamation. This is why our members already make commitments to reclamation security. CanREA is pleased that the government decision matched our recommendations and that, going forward, reclamation security can continue be allocated to landowners if those landowners so chose.  

CanREA also accepts that municipalities, as the elected voices of their communities, have the opportunity to participate in the process.  

However, it is disappointing that the government has decided to put some parts of the province off-limits for renewable energy projects via “pristine viewscape” setbacks. This decision means that local communities and landowners in these regions will miss out on the benefit of renewable projects, specifically the tax revenues and lease payments associated with renewables.  

CanREA will continue to advise in upcoming consultations to support better outcomes, including the grandfathering of projects on sites that have already been selected, to avoid costly consequences for all parties. We will urge the government to reconsider their land-use bans for “pristine viewscapes,” or to provide opportunities to mitigate these blanket restrictions. 

Renewable energy in Alberta has long been a good-news story for Canada’s energy powerhouse province. And there is tremendous potential for even greater success. To realize this potential, we need a responsible, inclusive and thoughtful approach in Alberta. 

Quotes

“While the Pause has lifted, there remains significant uncertainty and risk for investors wishing to participate in Canada’s hottest market for renewables. It is critical to get these policy changes right, and to do so quickly.” 

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) 

“CanREA will continue to consult with the AUC and encourage the Province to provide clarity on policy changes that will enable paused projects to move forward, in a manner that will restore investor confidence in Alberta.” 

—Evan Wilson, Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) 

For media inquiries and interview opportunities, please contact: 

Communications 
Canadian Renewable Energy Association 
communications@renewablesassociation.ca 

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter/X and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.  

Greener Homes Program 2.0 sets the stage for long-term stability in Canada’s residential solar sector

CanREA working with federal government to ensure the smooth continuation of programs supporting residential solar in Canada.

STATEMENT: Ottawa, February 6, 2024—CanREA welcomes the announcement yesterday, by the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, of a phase two for the federal Greener Homes Initiative, which helps Canadians “Go Solar” and retrofit their homes to reduce their energy bills and GHG emissions.

“Today’s announcement is important to the continued success of the residential solar sector in Canada,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO. “The Greener Homes Initiative has been critical to the growth of this industry, providing consistent support which made solar more accessible to Canadians. CanREA’s solar-installer members have noted that business grew by more than 50% since the program was first rolled out in 2021. Recapitalizing this program will allow them to keep employing more people and contributing to their communities.”

The Greener Homes Initiative, which includes NRCan’s Canada Greener Homes Grant Program, CMHC’s Canada Greener Homes Loan Program, and NRCan’s Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, has already been utilized by 165,000 Canadian households, and now aims to reach more than 500,000 households by 2027.

Recently, the popular program was nearly cancelled due to oversubscription. CanREA advocated for its recapitalization, providing the federal government with hard data on the benefit of this grant on solar installers and everyday Canadians who wish to go solar.

CanREA worked with officials from Energy and Natural Resources Canada, Finance Canada and the Privy Council Office to make improvements to the program, such as reducing paperwork and expanding the offering so that more Canadians of all incomes can reduce their energy bills.

“We are pleased to see the federal government signal longer-term support for residential solar, with a commitment to work with industry to right-size the Greener Homes programs,” said Fernando Melo, CanREA’s Director of Federal Policy and Government Affairs. “CanREA eagerly awaits the full details, forthcoming in Budget 2024.”

Meanwhile, CanREA remains committed to working with Government of Canada officials to ensure the smooth continuation of the program. CanREA will seek clarity regarding applications to the program during the transition between the old and new versions of the program, in addition to confirming that phase two of the Greener Homes Initiative will specifically support residential solar.

“It’s important to get this right,” said Melo, “to help grow our robust Canadian industry and make household solar more accessible. Harnessing your own power from the sun is a brilliant way for Canadians to reduce their energy bills and be more self-sufficient in a changing climate.”

For more information:

  • For more information on going solar, see “CanREA’s Go Solar Guide,” the Canadian homeowner’s go-to guide for putting solar panels on your roof or property.
  • For more information on CanREA’s advocacy for BTM technologies at the federal level, please contact CanREA’s membership team, at members@renewablesassociation.ca
  • For media interview opportunities, please contact Bridget Wayland, Senior Director of Communications, Canadian Renewable Energy Association, at: communications@renewablesassociation.ca

Quotes

“Today’s announcement is important to the continued success of the residential solar sector in Canada. The Greener Homes Initiative has been critical to the growth of this industry, providing consistent support which made solar more accessible to Canadians. CanREA’s solar-installer members have noted that business grew by more than 50% since the program was first rolled out in 2021. Recapitalizing this program will allow them to keep employing more people and contributing to their communities.”  

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

“We are pleased to see the federal government signal longer-term support for residential solar, with a commitment to work with industry to right-size the Greener Homes programs. CanREA eagerly awaits the full details, forthcoming in Budget 2024. It’s important to get this right, to help grow our robust Canadian industry and make household solar more accessible. Harnessing your own power from the sun is a brilliant way for Canadians to reduce their energy bills and be more self-sufficient in a changing climate.”

—Fernando Melo, Director of Federal Policy and Government Affairs, CanREA

For media interview opportunities, please contact:

Bridget Wayland, Senior Director of Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on X and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.  

NEWS RELEASE: New 2023 data shows 11.2% growth for wind, solar & energy storage

CanREA’s annual industry data for 2023 shows that Canada has increased installed capacity by 11.2% for a new total of 21.9 GW of wind energy, solar energy and energy storage.

Ottawa, January 31, 2024—Canada’s wind, solar and energy-storage sectors grew by a steady 11.2% this year, according to the new annual industry data report released today by the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA). 

The industry added 2.3 GW of new installed capacity in 2023, including more than 1.7 GW of new utility-scale wind, nearly 360 MW of new utility-scale solar, 86 MW of new on-site* solar, and 140 MW / 190 MWh of energy storage. Canada now has a total installed capacity of more than 21.9 GW, including 20.4 GW of utility-scale wind and solar energy, 1.2 GW of on-site solar and 356 MW / 539 MWh of energy storage nationwide. 

Looking ahead, there are tremendous opportunities for growth in these industries, as the nation works to meet 2035 and 2050 net-zero targets. This year’s greatest success stories were found in Atlantic Canada, the North and, notably, Alberta. Other provinces saw no growth in their wind, solar or energy storage sectors in 2023, due to their lack of centralized procurements and corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) offerings—but progress is expected and is, in many cases, underway (see details in Regional Breakdown, below).

“Canada’s wind, solar and energy storage industry had a relatively good year in 2023, but it fell short of the trajectory needed to meet net-zero targets. Canada has massive, untapped wind and solar resources that can be harnessed to provide the affordable, clean electricity needed in all jurisdictions. What is needed is more geographic diversity. We need to increase the pace of buildout, and we need to see deployment in all provinces and territories,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO.

Growth in renewable energy and energy storage has positive implications for jobs and for the economy: As it grows, the sector is emerging as an important force for job creation, primarily in the construction of new facilities, but also in the ongoing operations and maintenance of these sites. In 2023, Canada’s wind and solar industries accounted for more than 4,950 person-years of employment, having increased by 11% this year (up from more than 4,460 in 2022).

CanREA advocates provincially and federally to create favourable policy and regulatory environments for the procurement and deployment of wind, solar and energy storage. On that front, there was much to celebrate in 2023, with many provinces announcing net-zero pathways and procurement plans (see Regional Breakdown, below).

Taking all these announced procurements into account, Canada could reach nearly 58 GW of renewable energy and energy storage capacity by 2035.

Even this, however, is less than what is needed to support national and international targets for the energy transition: COP28 set a global goal of increasing renewables threefold by 2030, and CanREA’s 2050 Vision, Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero, stated that Canada needs to deploy more than 5 GW of new wind and solar energy every year to meet its commitment to net-zero GHG emissions. See Figure 2.

“In 2024, CanREA will continue to advocate for policy and regulatory changes, focusing on the jurisdictions with the greatest potential for growth, to unlock the enormous opportunities offered by renewable energy and energy storage and their benefits for all Canadians,” said Bellissimo.

Regional breakdown

Alberta’s remarkable year

Alberta accounted for more than 92% of Canada’s overall growth in renewable energy and energy-storage capacity in 2023.

The province saw steady, reliable growth again this year, on both the solar and wind fronts. Alberta added 2.2 GW of installed capacity this year (including 1,671 MW wind, 329 MW utility-scale solar, 24 MW of on-site solar, and 130 MW of energy storage), which is significantly higher than its 1.4 GW increase last year.

Of note, the pause on approvals announced by the Alberta government in August 2023 did not impact projects that already had approvals in place. As such, this change had no impact on Alberta’s 2023 growth numbers and is expected to have a limited impact on 2024, with 1 GW of projects already under construction.

Make no mistake, however, the pause and the investor uncertainty it creates will have impacts that will be felt in 2025 and beyond. Specifically, CanREA is tracking 8.3 GW of projects under development in Alberta. Of these, 3.9 GW of projects had the potential to come online in 2025, along with a further 4.4 GW of proposed projects with later commissioning dates, which are all now at risk.

While Alberta has led the country in renewables growth for several years, its progress in the near future will depend on a stable and supportive investment and policy climate, to compete with other provinces that are now looking to scale up significantly in renewables.

Growth in the North

There was welcome growth in the Territories in 2023. Wind made impressive gains in Yukon , moving from 0.2 MW to 4 MW total, as well as in the Northwest Territories, adding 3.2 MW in Inuvik (Enercon). CanREA’s data team is also tracking 1.5 MW of projects in advanced development and 4 MW of proposed projects in Yukon, all of which are utility-scale solar or hybrid solar/storage hybrid projects.

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, CanREA is currently tracking 200 MW of projects under construction, 800 MW of wind and solar projects, and a single 20 MW battery site with 20 MWh capacity, all currently in advanced stages of development, as well as 350 MW of wind projects in the proposal stage.

Saskatchewan’s longer-term (procurement) outlook includes 600 MW of wind and solar in south central Saskatchewan expected to be in-service by 2027, up to 1 GW wind and solar in the southwest by 2030, and 1 GW of wind and solar for 2030-2035.

For the moment, however, the current total installed capacity in Saskatchewan remains the same as last year, at 660 MW (629 MW wind, 31 MW solar, 0.4 MW / 0.7 MWh energy storage).

Ontario

Ontario’s installed capacity is still the largest in Canada, at more than 7.5 GW (5.5 wind, nearly 2 solar, more than 100 MW storage), and while this total did not increase this year, it will soon, as Ontario invests in energy storage.

CanREA is tracking 429 MW of storage projects that are already in advanced development, including the 250 MW Oneida Project (led by CanREA members Northland Power, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Aecon, as well as NRStor), and another 407 MW in proposed energy-storage projects.

There is no new wind or solar development expected in the short term (2024-2025) in Ontario, but the longer-term outlook includes up to 2 GW of new wind and solar by 2030-2031, and up to 3 GW of additional new wind and solar by 2034. In addition, recent and ongoing procurements will bring the total provincial energy storage capacity up to about 3 GW by 2028.

Quebec

In Quebec, CanREA’s data team is closely watching the construction of the Apuiat project (from Boralex and the Innu Nation), which will represent 200 MW of additional capacity when it comes online (expected in 2024).

Quebec currently has the third-highest installed capacity of wind and solar energy and energy storage in Canada, at more than 4 GW (nearly all wind, with less than 12 MW of solar and 1.8 MW of storage). While this total did not increase in 2023, there is a very strong opportunity for growth in the long term.

Knowing that Quebec needs to produce an additional 150-200 TWh to meet electricity demand by 2050, Hydro-Quebec’s recent Action Plan relies heavily on new wind, solar and energy storage to meet the need for an additional 60 TWh by 2035.

Specifically, the utility intends to triple wind-power generation by integrating more than 8 GW of wind capacity into the grid by 2030, and 2 more by 2035. It also intends to establish the province’s first pumped-storage facility with a 1 GW capacity, and to facilitate the installation of solar panels on the homes of more than 125,000 customers by 2035.

British Columbia

B.C. currently has 746 MW of capacity (742 MW wind, 2 MW solar, 2 MW storage) and, in future, BC Hydro plans to acquire 3,000 GWh of renewable energy per year—we expect the details to be revealed in 2024.

Atlantic Canada

Parts of Atlantic Canada were home to growth in 2023, with New Brunswick adding 42 MW of wind (the Burchill Wind project from Natural Forces) and PEI adding 31 MW of utility-scale solar (City of Summerside and PEI Energy Corporation), as well as some energy storage.

The outlook for renewable energy is also looking bright. CanREA is currently tracking a total of 296 MW of projects in advanced development across the Atlantic region (280 MW onshore wind, while the rest includes both utility-scale solar and energy storage). Significant numbers of MWs could come online in the next few years.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick has less than 0.4 GW of installed capacity at this time (almost all wind, with a small amount of solar and 1.25 MW of storage), but it has big plans for the future. New Brunswick’s new energy strategy includes a 12-year road map and supporting strategies for the province to meet national and international clean-energy transition targets. It aims to increase renewables five-fold by 2035, adding 1.4 GW of new wind power, 0.2 GW of grid-scale solar power, an additional 0.1 GW of energy storage, and 0.3 GW of onsite (behind-the-meter) solar.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia currently has just 0.6 GW of installed capacity (nearly all of it wind plus a very small amount of solar), but it is poised for significant growth. The Rate Base Procurement, the PHP project and the Roswall project should add a substantial number of megawatts into the Nova Scotia grid in the coming years. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s recent 2030 Clean Power Plan aims to add more than 1 GW of new wind capacity, more than 300 MW of solar, and 300 to 400 MW of battery storage by 2030, with the potential for offshore wind post-2030. What’s more, solar net-metering is now well-established in Nova Scotia, on-site solar is growing each year, and the province’s Green Choice procurement has begun, with more coming every 18 months.

For more information

To download a summary of CanREA’s latest industry data, visit CanREA’s “By the Numbers” webpage.

CanREA members have access to a more detailed report on the members-only side of the website (as of February 2, 2024).

*See “BTM Solar: Canadian Market Outlook: How Behind-the-Meter (BTM) solar can contribute to Canada’s net-zero future,” for more information on rooftop and on-site solar in Canada.

Images

Image 1: Canada’s current installed capacity for wind, solar and energy storage (December 31, 2023):
At the end of 2023, Canada had 21.9 GW of installed wind, solar and energy storage capacity, distributed across its provinces and territories as shown in this map.

Image 2: Table of provincial and territorial data (CanREA, December 31. 2023)

Image 3: Canada’s actual installed capacity vs. Targets for wind, solar and energy storage:
CanREA’s 2023 data shows a total installed capacity of 21.9 GW of wind and solar energy and energy storage across Canada (brown line). We are already tracking projects that will bring at least 2 GW more to bear in 2024-5 (dotted line). Beyond that, all the provincial procurements that have been announced to date (as of December 31, 2023) represent more than 50 GW by 2035 (yellow line), but this potential growth falls short of national targets such as that set by CanREA’s 2050 Vision (red line), as well as global targets such as that agreed to at COP28 (blue line).

Quotes

“Canada’s wind, solar and energy storage industry had a relatively good year in 2023, but progress fell short of the trajectory needed to meet net-zero targets. Canada has massive, untapped wind and solar resources that can be harnessed to provide the affordable, clean electricity needed in all jurisdictions. What is needed is more geographic diversity. We need to increase the pace of buildout, and we need to see deployment in all provinces and territories.”

“In 2024, CanREA will continue to advocate for policy and regulatory changes, focusing on the jurisdictions with the greatest potential for growth, to unlock the enormous opportunities offered by renewable energy and energy storage and their benefits for all Canadians.” 

—Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

Statement: Hydro-Québec selects eight bids from CanREA members totaling 1,550 MW

STATEMENT: Montréal, January 26, 2024—Hydro-Québec has selected five CanREA members for all projects in its latest call for tenders, as announced today.

“CanREA would like to congratulate its members Boralex, Kruger, Pattern, Invenergy and Innergex, who submitted all eight of the bids selected by Hydro-Québec, for a total of 1,550 megawatts (MW) of contract capacity,” said Jean Habel, CanREA’s Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. 

These projects will be developed in partnership with groups of municipalities including the Arthabaska, Appalaches, Érable, Jardins-de-Napierville, Manicouagan and Lotbinière RCMs, the Coopérative Régionale d’Électricité de St-Jean-Baptiste de Rouville and the Alliance de l’énergie de l’Est. 

Many of the projects will also incorporate the participation of Indigenous communities: the Abenaki Council of Odanak, the Conseil des Abénakis de Wôlinak, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and the Conseil des Innus de Pessamit. 

Hydro-Québec launched its call for tenders on March 31, 2023. Electricity deliveries must begin between December 1, 2027, and December 1, 2029, depending on the bid.

CanREA has played a leading role in raising awareness among a wide range of stakeholders about the need for predictability and consistency when adding renewable energy sources to meet the growing demand for energy in Quebec.

CanREA is pleased to see that this call for tenders is part of Hydro-Québec’s recent Action Plan 2035, which aims to add more than 10,000 MW of new wind energy capacity and 60 additional TWh by 2035.

“CanREA would like to congratulate its members Boralex, Kruger, Pattern, Invenergy and Innergex, which submitted all eight of the bids selected by Hydro-Québec, for a total of 1,550 megawatts (MW) of contract capacity.” 

—Jean Habel, Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, CanREA

For media inquiries or interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-227-5378
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedInSubscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca

CanREA welcomes New Brunswick’s new energy strategy

Wind, solar and energy storage will be pivotal to New Brunswick’s plan to increase renewables five-fold by 2035.

Ottawa, December 14, 2023—CanREA welcomes New Brunswick’s new energy strategy, published this week, which will increase the province’s supply of renewable energy five-fold by 2035.

The plan, entitled “Powering our Economy and the World with Clean Energy – Our Path Forward to 2035,” includes a 12-year road map and supporting strategies for the province to meet national and international clean-energy transition targets.

Notably, New Brunswick’s energy strategy now includes the development of 1400 MW of new wind power, 200 MW of grid-scale solar power, an additional 100 MW of energy storage, and 300 MW of onsite (behind-the-meter) solar. 

“CanREA is glad to see that wind, solar and energy storage are pivotal in New Brunswick’s new energy vision,” said Jean Habel, CanREA’s Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. “In order to reach a net-zero economy, the scale and speed of clean energy deployment is going to be unprecedented. CanREA would like to congratulate the government of New Brunswick for their commitment to defining an energy transition roadmap for this province.”

This roadmap includes predictable wind procurement every two years starting in 2027, that will lead to 1400 MW of new wind in the province. It also includes an annual procurement of 25 MW of grid scale solar, starting in 2028 and reaching a total of 200 MW of new, grid-scale solar power.

In this way, the renewables industry in New Brunswick will be able to seize the opportunities and advantages offered by Canada’s new investment tax credits for renewable energy production that were announced in the 2023 federal budget.

“New Brunswick’s energy strategy now provides an important long-term predictability for the industry,” said Habel, “and CanREA members will be keen to ensure the success of that deployment in the upcoming years.”

CanREA was pleased to participate in many important consultations to shape the future of energy in New Brunswick, such as NB Power’s Integrated Resource Plan and the New Brunswick Climate Action Plan, and looks forward to continued engagement with the Government of New Brunswick regarding the deployment of this new energy vision.

CanREA will also continue working with all the relevant stakeholders and rights-holders in New Brunswick, including Indigenous communities and municipalities, to ensure that the deployment of renewable energy projects is well aligned with host communities’ needs.

This new energy strategy reflects many elements of CanREA’s 2050 Vision: “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net Zero,” which highlights the importance of adding incremental amounts of renewables each year.

Quotes

“CanREA is glad to see that wind, solar and energy storage are pivotal in New Brunswick’s new energy vision. In order to reach a net-zero economy, the scale and speed of clean energy deployment is going to be unprecedented. CanREA would like to congratulate the government of New Brunswick for their commitment to defining an energy transition roadmap for this province.”

“New Brunswick’s energy strategy now provides an important long-term predictability for the industry and CanREA members will be keen to ensure the success of that deployment in the upcoming years.”

—Jean Habel, Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

For media inquiries or interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-227-5378
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About CanREA

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedInSubscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca