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Canadian Hydropower Association Welcomes Provincial Report on Developing Hydro in Alberta

Hydroelectricity would reduce GHG emissions and provide affordability to consumers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/11/13 -- The Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) welcomes the Alberta Legislature's Resource Stewardship Committee Report, "Review of the Potential for Expanded Hydroelectric Energy Production in Northern Alberta". The report, which was tabled today, assesses the viability of future hydropower development in northern Alberta and recognizes the positive role hydropower can play.

"As Alberta begins replacing its primarily coal-fired electricity generation, it can draw on substantial hydro potential to replace that generation and help meet new demand," said Jacob Irving, President, Canadian Hydropower Association. "A transition to hydro would provide numerous benefits including dramatically reducing GHG emissions in Alberta."

Currently, hydropower generation contributes just two per cent of Alberta's electricity while coal-fired generation accounts for more than 60 per cent. With coal plants being decommissioned under new Federal rules as well as continued load growth, Alberta will need to substantially increase its baseload supply. With more than 11,000 megawatts (MW) of hydropower potential, the province has the opportunity to become another one of Canada's hydro powerhouses.

While providing environmental benefits, hydroelectricity also offers affordability to consumers over the long term. Those provinces with large-scale developed hydro have the most affordable electricity rates in Canada.

The CHA presented to the Committee last October as part of the preparation for this study. Report highlights include:

--  economic & environmental advantages 
--  potential for partnerships with Aboriginal peoples, Provinces &

Canada produces 60 per cent of its electricity from hydropower and is the third largest hydro generator in the world. This makes Canada's generation system one of the cleanest and most renewable on the planet. Including Alberta's undeveloped potential, Canada could still more than double its current installed hydropower capacity.

The Canadian Hydropower Association was founded in 1998. It is the national trade association dedicated to representing the interests of the hydropower industry. Its members span the breadth of the industry, with nearly 50 members that include hydropower producers, manufacturers, developers, engineering firms, organizations and individuals interested in the field of hydropower. CHA members represent more than 95 per cent of the hydropower capacity in Canada.

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