Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership

November 06, 2006 12:00 ET

New Partnership Carves Out Different Energy Niche for Alberta

Oil and gas not the only natural resources ready for development

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 6, 2006) - One of the few regions of Alberta that isn't driven by the current oil and gas boom is claiming its place as a future leader in alternative energy from renewable resources.

The Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP) was launched today by three sponsoring economic development organizations representing 36 communities in the southwestern corner of the province.

Economic Development Lethbridge, a community-based organization in Lethbridge, and two regional economic development alliances, SouthGrow Regional Initiative and Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, have joined together to attract, develop and build wind, solar and bio-energy projects.

The three sponsors have invited 15 community representatives to sit on an Advisory Committee who will gather information on the three specific areas of alternative energy, gather public input and make recommendations to the sponsoring Boards on ways to maximize the opportunities from the abundance of natural resources in the region.

John Kolk, chair of the SAAEP Advisory Committee, said, ""We see a vast potential for this region to diversify itself into an alternative energy powerhouse on a global scale and we are confident we have access to the resources, strategies and expertise to ensure that happens."

"A natural abundance of wind and sunshine in the region (recording nearly 2,400 hours of sunshine a year) provides the needed inputs to use the latest wind and solar technologies to generate an increase in renewable energy. Combine that with the opportunities for crop producers to benefit from ethanol production and improved waste management through bio-mass, and this region is in an excellent position to be a leader in these alternative, clean sources of fuel, electricity and thermal energy," added Kolk.

The initiative is expected to generate specific outcomes and provide a long-term plan that will build these industries in a sustainable manner and has already drawn strong support from both agricultural producers and businesses who recognize the benefits of this regional strategy.

SouthGrow Regional Initiative and Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance are part of the system 12 regional economic alliances within Alberta. Economic Development Lethbridge is an independent, organization whose mission is to implement proactive strategies and promote Lethbridge as a great place to live, learn, visit, invest and do business.

A backgrounder on the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership is available on CCNMatthews' website: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/SAAEP_Backgrounder.pdf

Contact Information

  • Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership
    Advisory Committee
    John Kolk
    Chair
    (403) 330-9479
    Website: www.saaep.ca