OTTAWA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Alberta, which produces most of Canada's crude oil, will ban renewable power projects on prime agricultural land and erect buffer zones to ensure wind turbines do not spoil scenic views, the provincial government said on Wednesday.

Last year, Alberta temporarily halted approvals of major new projects amid concerns over renewables' reliability and land use, cooling investment in the rapidly growing industry and challenging the federal government's clean energy ambitions.

The western province has led the country in building renewable capacity and is on track to eliminate combustion of coal for power this year, six years ahead of plan.

Alberta's right-of-center government said the pause on approvals would be lifted on Thursday but it would from now on take an "agriculture first" approach with proposed projects.

The province will bar renewable generation projects on land it deems has excellent or good irrigation capability and will set up buffer zones of a minimum of 35 km (22 miles) around protected areas or what the government considers pristine views.

New wind turbine projects will no longer be permitted within those buffer zones.

"We must grow our renewable energy industry in well-defined and responsible ways," Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in a statement. Smith says Ottawa's drive to cut carbon emissions could wreck the provincial oil and gas industry.

Alberta generates most of its electricity from natural gas and produces more than 82% of the country's crude oil.

The government, citing concerns about the cost of cleaning up renewables projects once they have shut down, says developers will have to put up a bond or security.

In a note to clients, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Nelson Ng said the new rules could slow the pace of development.

The Business Renewables Centre Canada environmental group said the announcement had few specific details and would provoke uncertainty among investors.

"Taken at face value, an unprecedented 35-km buffer zone around all protected areas in southern Alberta would eliminate large sections of the province and would create a backdoor land ban," director Jorden Dye said in a statement.

The pause on project approvals, which was announced last August, prompted four major international companies at various development stages to stop work on their plans, an industry official said at the time. (Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nia Williams)