Edmonton

Coal phase-out facilitator says 2030 deadline gives Alberta 'lots of time'

The province's new facilitator, who will guide Alberta through the first steps of phasing-out coal-fired electricity, says he will likely suggest the province build up a combination of alternative energy sources.

Facilitator's final recommendations likely to include a combination of alternative energy sources

A faster phase-out of coal-fired plants is at the top of Premier Rachel Notley's climate-change strategy for Alberta. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

The province's new facilitator, who will guide Alberta through the first steps of phasing-out coal-fired electricity, says he will likely suggest the province build up a combination of alternative energy sources.

Terry Boston has been hired for six months at a cost of $600,000. He recently retired as president of PJM Interconnection, the second-largest centrally dispatched power system in the world.

He said the province's deadline to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity by 2030 will give the province plenty of time to come up with a stable plan.

"You better make sure you don't move too fast," Boston said. "You better make sure it's logically done."

His job will be to bring forward recommendations to the government on how to transition to cleaner sources of power without sacrificing reliability or driving up costs.

He said he will give the province a range of options, as well as his top recommendation.

Boston said the government shouldn't rely too much on a single alternative energy source, and his final report will likely suggest a diverse portfolio.

Economic Development Minister Daron Bilous said Wednesday he hopes to have a deal in place by September, when Boston's contract expires.

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