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News Release

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


Jan 28, 2020

Calgary, Alberta – January 28, 2020 — Today QUEST launched the Planning for Resilient Energy Infrastructure in Alberta project. This one-year project will assist municipalities and energy utilities in the province to adapt their energy infrastructure to the impact of increasing extreme events.

The four municipalities that have been chosen to participate in the project are Big Lake County, Ponoka County, the Town of Black Diamond, and the Town of Raymond. These municipalities were chosen because of their leadership and interest in becoming a Smart Energy Community.  

The project will combine cutting-edge research on how more frequent extreme weather events disrupt the province’s energy system and the potential role of new technologies, with on-the-ground, participatory workshops that will bring together multiple community stakeholders, including energy utilities. 

The resilience workshops and its associated assessment reports will help the 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 Alberta can inform their own energy resilience plans and mitigate negative economic impacts from prolonged power outages and energy supply disruptions due to climate change impacts.

QUEST is dedicated to advance Smart Energy Communities in Canada. Adapting energy infrastructure to more extreme weather events and securing the continuation of energy services are key components of Smart Energy Communities.

This project is made possible by funding from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s North American Partnership for Environmental Community Actions grant program which supports nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in Canada, Mexico and the United States that work closely with local and indigenous communities to improve environmental conditions at the local level. Project partners include the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) and EQUS.


Read the NAPECA News Release: NAPECA Grant Recipients Announced by Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Read the QUEST News Release: QUEST Receives Commission for Environmental Cooperation Grant to Help Four Alberta Communities Increase Energy Resilience

Visit the Project Webpage


“Municipalities and utilities are on the front lines when it comes to responding to energy and grid-related impacts of climate change and QUEST is committed to developing Canadian based tools and processes so that we are all better prepared. We are looking forward to working with Big Lake County, Ponoka County, the Town of Black Diamond, and the Town of Raymond. Lessons learned in these communities will serve to inform other communities in Alberta as well as across Canada to advance Smart Energy Communities.”

Tonja Leach

Executive Director, QUEST

“Municipalities across North America are showing great leadership in the transition to energy systems that are resilient to more and more severe weather events. We congratulate QUEST as well as the communities of Big Lake County, Ponoka County, the Town of Black Diamond, and the Town of Raymond on this announcement and look forward to showcasing their efforts as a model for municipalities across the region.”

Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan, Executive Director, Commission for Environmental Cooperation

“Big Lakes County is very excited to be working with QUEST to help increase our knowledge of resilient energy infrastructure and to assess the risks to our community’s energy systems. By working with QUEST we can help to plan for these risks and build community resilience.”

Richard Simard

Reeve Big Lakes County

Black Diamond has had a history of adapting energy infrastructure with the establishment of our renewable energy (first systems installed 2007) and continued investment with our “green fund”.  We have just over 30 kw spread through the Town on three of our municipal buildings. We take pride in our various energy management programs that reduce our total load on provincial wide systems.  By participating in and planning for resilient energy infrastructure we will provide another avenue whereby Black Diamond and our energy partners have additional tools to strengthen our internal municipal operations to ensure continued services to our community and region while reducing our carbon footprint and GHG emissions.”  

Mayor Ruth Goodwin

Mayor, Town of Black Diamond

“The year 2020 is a fitting year to be fortunate enough to have Ponoka County participate in such a worthwhile project. With advances in energy technology coupled with the noticeable changes in severe weather events in Alberta, Ponoka County looks forward to improving collaboration, integration and planning as it relates to municipal and energy services. It is only with collaboration at a local level in addition to new ways of thinking can we ensure citizens of municipalities that critical infrastructure is protected or quickly re-established from disrupting events. We, Ponoka County, look forward to the opportunity to share and to learn through this worthwhile project.”

Paul McLauchlin

Reeve Ponoka County

“This decision by council to become the first municipalities in Canada to become electrically net-zero was made with the future in mind. It provides us budgetary certainty regardless of the geopolitical and market factors outside of our control and allows us to stretch our limited resources further than we could before.”

Kurtis Pratt

CAO, Town of Raymond

Media Contacts

Cheryl Ratchford
Director, Communications & Marketing
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 866-494-2770 ext 703

Town of Raymond
Director, Community & Economic Development
Greg Robinson
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 403-752-3322 ext 1001

Town of Black Diamond
Les Quinton
Parks & Recreation Manager
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 403-933-527


Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Sarah Julien
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 514-350-4331

Big Lakes County
Zachary Thompson
Sustainability Officer, Big Lakes County
Email [email protected]
Phone 780-523-5955

Ponoka County
Dennis Jones
Regional Fire Chief, Director of Emergency Management
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 403-913-5105

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