Planning for Resilient Energy Infrastructure in Alberta

the Advancing Community Energy Resilience Primer Report is now available!

The report builds on work QUEST completed with 7 Alberta municipalities, an extensive literature review on the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) decisions and interviews completed with 6 utilities. Policy-makers at the municipal and provincial levels will gain a better understanding of the state of energy resilience in Alberta. Recommendations to improve community resilience are included for the Government of Alberta, AUC, at the community level and between utilities and communities.

Planning for Resilient Energy Infrastructure in Alberta is a one year project designed to help Albertan communities to adapt their energy infrastructure to the impact of increasing extreme events.

Communities in Alberta are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with more frequent and intense floods, wildfires, droughts, and storms damaging energy infrastructure and disrupting energy supply. This project will help communities to adapt their energy infrastructure to the impact of increasing extreme events.

The project will combine cutting-edge research on how new energy technologies support resilient energy systems with on-the-ground, participatory, interactive workshops and mapping exercises engaging multiple community stakeholders, including energy utilities. The resilience workshop and its associated assessment report will help four Alberta communities and their utilities align their planning processes and asset management to increase their energy resilience. 

Key lessons and findings will be shared so other communities and utilities in the province can consider their own energy resilience plans and mitigate negative economic impacts from prolonged power outages and energy supply disruptions due to climate change impacts.

Watch the webinar

On December 15th, 2020, we showcased the results of the research and community level implementation of QUEST’s Planning for Resilient Smart Energy Communities in Alberta project. Alberta’s climate is changing and this presentation discussed its impact on our energy infrastructure, as well as the cost of damage and energy disruption on communities. It also focused on building resilient energy communities in Alberta, including community hazard and adaptation outcomes and trends, as well as recommendations and potential next steps.

Participating Municipalities

The following municipalities have been selected to participate in the Municipalities and Utilities Partnering for Community Resilience Iniative.

Ponoka County

Covering 721,396 acres in central Alberta, Ponoka County embodies the essence of rural Alberta with strong agricultural roots, a commitment to fiscal responsibility and an independent spirit.  Today, the County serves 9,806 residents, providing strong leadership and guiding the municipality through some difficult challenges.

Big Lake County

Big Lakes County, situated in the north, is a welcoming and thriving community. Located just a few hours north of Alberta’s major cities; our residents enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors. With a service area population of 17,440, Big Lakes expands over 13,942 square kilometres and neighbours the Towns of High Prairie and Swan Hills, as well as First Nations and Métis Settlements.

The Town of Black Diamond

Black Diamond is a Southern Alberta town located in the Foothills County that offers many amenities of larger communities. As the Gateway to the Kananaskis Black Diamond offers a diverse and eclectic selection of shops, restaurants, recreation (2 sports arenas) and beautiful pathways, a hospital, hotels and residences, elementary school (K-6th grade), and high school (7th-12th grade).

Black Diamond, a name that reflects our history, culture and strength of coal deposits near the original town site. Although, today little oil or gas remains, our community is recognized as a leader in small town sustainability. We strive to use our resources wisely and lead in innovative ecological practices that create and support our resilient community.

The Town of Raymond

The Town of Raymond, Alberta is a growing community located 20 minutes south east of Lethbridge, Alberta’s 4th largest city. They have great amenities, foster a business-friendly environment and are a welcoming and inclusive community. 

Project Funder

CEC logoThis project is made possible by support from Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).

Project Partners

Project partners include the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) and EQUS.

Learn about QUEST’s Advisory Services. QUEST offers Resilience Workshops to communities that are looking to understand how climate risks and vulnerabilities impact our energy systems.

News and Media

QUEST to Work with Four Communities to Help Improve Energy Resilience in Alberta

NAPECA Grant Recipients Announced by Commission for Environmental Cooperation

QUEST Receives Commission for Environmental Cooperation Grant to Help Four Alberta Communities Increase Energy Resilience

Empowering Canadian Communities

QUEST Canada develops and implements programs and projects with the aim to nurture strategic partnerships, facilitate connections, empower community champions, and influence decisions makers, supporting communities across Canada on their pathway to net-zero. Find out more about our programs and projects:

Enabling Low-Carbon Energy Projects for Investments

Enabling Low-Carbon Energy Projects for Investments

Communities in Canada are increasingly developing local, low-carbon energy projects, but many face road-blocks with regards to financing. Simultaneously, Canadian investors are seeking low-carbon investments, but are challenged to find local opportunities at scale for investment. The Enabling Low Carbon Energy Projects for Investment (ELCEPI) research project aims to offer recommendations and solutions to close these financing gaps, while connecting the barriers and enablers for investment to larger socio-economic issues.

New Brunswick Smart Energy Communities Accelerator Pilot Program

New Brunswick Smart Energy Communities Accelerator Pilot Program

The NB SECA Pilot Program successfully established a community energy planning accelerator to assist a series of New Brunswick communities and one First Nation, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to develop and implement community energy plans and understand the net economic benefit they can provide.

Accelerating Implementation of Renewable Energy for Indigenous Communities

Accelerating Implementation of Renewable Energy for Indigenous Communities

Accelerating Implementation of Renewable Energy (AIRE) for Indigenous Communities is a three-year project designed to help rural and remote Indigenous communities reach emission reduction targets by increasing their capacity to plan and implement land-based renewable energy initiatives (solar, wind, biomass, and geo-thermal). This project supports rural, remote Indigenous communities on their pathway to net-zero.