The corporate logo of Enmax is shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

Enmax wins federal contract for renewable energy

CALGARY — The federal government has handed out one of its first major contracts as part of a promise to run all of its operations on renewable energy within a decade.

Enmax Energy Corp. has been awarded a five-year contract worth $131 million to supply the federal government’s electricity needs in Alberta. There is a provision for a one-year extension.

The energy company is to provide electricity to 11 government departments, including four military bases and Corrections Canada.

“It is my understanding that this is the first contract in this regard involving the Department of National Defence and our operations,” Associate Defence Minister Kent Hehr said Friday.

“It will be very important here in Alberta. This handles much of our military operations (and), much of our other government departments here.”

Hehr said it will be ”a big step forward in helping us reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.”

Enmax has already provided electricity to federal operations for the last 10 years. Its company president joked it was appropriate that a green initiative would come on St. Patrick’s Day.

“It was only after I realized everyone was dressed in green that it seemed to be the perfect day to make this announcement,” said Gianna Manes.

Hehr noted that the Canadian Forces has a significant presence in Alberta in Edmonton, Cold Lake, Wainwright and Suffield, so the impact of going with renewable energy on military bases is significant.

“National Defence and Public Service and Procurement Canada account for roughly 75 per cent of the greenhouse gases emitted by federal departments and agencies,” he said.

The federal Liberals made a promise last November to run all government operations on renewable energy by 2025.