The Alberta Utilities Commission has clarified how it intends to implement the UCP government's moratorium on wind and solar energy development.

The regulator says it will continue to accept and process applications for renewable energy developments while the seven-month pause period is in effect.

However, no approvals will be issued until the moratorium is lifted.

The Alberta government announced the moratorium on Aug. 3, saying the pause is necessary to give the regulator time to hold an inquiry on how the rapid pace of renewable energy development in the province is affecting agricultural land and system reliability, as well as what plans are in place for reclamation of wind and solar projects.

Premier Danielle Smith has faced criticism for announcing the moratorium with no advance notice and without consulting stakeholders, jeopardizing billions of dollars in potential investment in renewables.

The Business Renewables Centre-Canada says by choosing to continue accepting and processing applications during the pause period, the Alberta Utilities Commission is signaling to the market that it understands the severity of the market risk introduced by the moratorium.