Growing contribution of wind energy in Ontario

The growth of Canada’s wind energy industry is contributing to the increase in high quality jobs for Ontarians and injecting millions of dollars into communities hosting wind energy developments, Canadian Wind Energy Association president Robert Hornung said in a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade. Mr. Hornung outlined the environmental, economic, industrial development, and employment benefits wind energy developments bring to Ontario – and urged all levels of government and political parties to learn the facts about the opportunity that wind energy represents.

"Wind energy is well established in many European countries and has a long history in the United States, but it’s still a relatively new contributor to Canada’s electricity supply," said Mr. Hornung. "Wind energy’s contribution in Canada is steadily increasing – and with this growth we see the evolution of a new and vibrant industry that is delivering manufacturing jobs, revitalizing rural economies, and generating emissions-free power."

Ontario is the largest market for wind energy in Canada, with 1,598 MW of installed capacity today and more than 1,500 additional MW already contracted to be built in the next few years. Last year alone, 9 new wind farms came on line in Ontario, representing about 300 MW of new installed capacity.

The Ontario government announced February 24 contracts for four new wind farm projects, totaling 615 MW of coming on line around 2014.

"Wind energy improves the environmental performance of our electricity system, provides significant economic development opportunities for rural communities and is helping to create a home-grown wind turbine supply industry that will create thousands of jobs and attract billions of dollars of investments," said Mr. Hornung. "Capturing this opportunity requires action by governments. Ontario has created a solid foundation and taken great strides to position itself as a renewable energy leader, and a competitive destination for global wind energy investment. Maintaining this position requires, first and foremost, policy stability."