Alberta makes deal with power producers to phase out coal by 2030

Click to play video: 'NDP strikes deal with companies forced to shutter coal plants early'
NDP strikes deal with companies forced to shutter coal plants early
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta's NDP government has announced an agreement with three power companies being forced to shutter coal plants early. As Tom Vernon reports, the deal comes with a hefty price tag – Nov 24, 2016

EDMONTON – Alberta has struck a deal with three major power producers to formally end coal-fired electricity by 2030.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says the province will pay three major power producers a total of $97 million a year over the next 14 years.

READ MORE: Alberta NDP’s plan to phase out coal could triple power bills: coal association 

The money is to compensate them for the shutdown and to help them transition to cleaner forms of energy.

“Alberta is by far the largest source of coal pollution in Canada, with greenhouse gas emissions that exceed the sum of every car from British Columbia to Manitoba,” Phillips said. “We are phasing out coal pollution in a measured, financially responsible way that will improve air quality and the health of Albertans.”

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The payments are to be spread amongst TransAlta, Capital Power and Atco and are to come out of the current carbon levy on heavy emitters.

READ MORE: Alberta government caps power prices at 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour 

“The government’s decision to provide transition payments to these companies demonstrates our commitment to building a low-priced, reliable, investment-friendly electricity system for Albertans,” Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said.

There are 18 coal-fired electricity plants in Alberta, and all but six are already scheduled to shut down before 2030.

As part of the deal, the power producers will keep their headquarters in Alberta, will continue to invest in the province and will provide support to communities affected by the transition.

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