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CALGARY, A.B. – The Alberta government is granting a 20-year contract to supply about half of its electric power needs to a partnership that plans to build three new solar power plants for more than $100 million.

Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips says the contract to supply about 55 percent of the government’s annual power consumption will shave $3.9 million per year from the current expiring contracts.

She says the winning bid of 4.8 cents per kilowatt-hour by 50-50 partners Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. of Guelph, Ont., and Conklin Metis Local 193 of southern Alberta was selected from 19 companies through a competitive procurement process.

John Gorman, CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association, said during the announcement the power price is so low it’s “almost unbelievable,” adding it is less than the average cost of building natural gas-powered power generation.

Ryan Tourigny, director of development for Canadian Solar, says construction on the three plants at Hays, Jenner and Tilley in southern Alberta will begin in early 2020 and are expected to come on stream in 2021.

The plants are to produce about 94 megawatts at peak times, enough to power about 20,000 homes, and about 270 jobs will be created during construction.

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