Ontario?s commitment to wind power strengthens investor confidence

The Ontario government’s continued commitment to wind energy as outlined in its directive to the OPA announced sends a clear signal to investors that Ontario aims to be a leader in creating clean energy and new jobs, says the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

The Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) calls for an increase to 10,700 MW of renewable energy in Ontario and new transmission system upgrades to support them. Wind farm plants represents a significant majority of this development.

“Wind energy’s growing contribution to Ontario’s electricity supply is creating jobs and economic opportunities right now for manufacturers, service providers, landowners and rural municipalities in Ontario,” said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. “Reaffirming the government’s target for new wind energy supply and proceeding quickly with new contracts for wind turbines projects and necessary transmission system upgrades will strengthen investor confidence that Ontario is a good place to do business.

Growing from the current 1,598 MW of wind farm capacity to approximately 7,000 MW by 2018 represents more than 450 per cent growth. This means a minimum of 12,500 jobs created to support industry construction and operations to 2018, more than $12.5 billion in new investment for the province, and roughly $22 million in annual lease payments to landowners and an equal amount in tax benefits to municipalities.

“The wind power industry looks forward to the awarding of new wind energy contracts and working co-operatively with government and the Ontario Power Authority to achieve this target and to move beyond it after 2018,” said Hornung. “We will also continue to work to ensure that wind energy development in communities is both responsible and sustainable.”

Wind energy has increased 10-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impacts of electricity generation, and stimulate rural and industrial economic development. Canada currently has 4,155 MW of installed wind farm capacity. Ontario is the provincial leader in installed wind turbines capacity with 1,598 of wind energy development. Quebec and Alberta follow at 663 MW and 806 MW respectively, and Canada’s remaining seven provinces together account for the remainder .

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is a non-profit industry association representing more than 450 members of the wind energy industry, including wind turbine manufacturers, component suppliers, wind energy project developers and a broad range of service providers to the industry. CanWEA’s mission is to support the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy in Canada.