Foothills MP John Barlow has released a statement on Alberta's recent pause on new renewable energy projects.

The federal Shadow Minister for Agriculture applauded the decision, saying it will allow Alberta's agricultural land to remain productive while advancing clean energy goals.

The seven-month moratorium was put in place on August 3 to review the rules and regulations around renewable energy projects.

During the pause, the Alberta Utilities Commission is supposed to review the way it evaluates proposed projects, with consideration for agricultural and crown land.

It came following some concerns that sprawling solar panel projects are taking up space on fertile farmland.

Barlow shared the sentiment in his statement

"If not carefully planned, projects may disrupt prime agricultural areas leading to soil degradation and reduced crop yields jeopardizing the operations of our farmers and ranchers."

He says the provincial government seems to be on the same page.

"In a conversation with Nathan Neudorf, Alberta Minister of Affordability and Utilities, I am confident that the Alberta Government will work collaboratively with key agriculture and energy players to put forward a strategic energy infrastructure plan which will ensure that there is minimal impact on agricultural lands while maintaining the ability to maximize energy generation within our province."

The Alberta Utilities Commission is set to report back on February 29, 2024.


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