“Ontario is a very hot wind market for GE right now,” says Simon Olivier, general manager sales, Renewable Energy for GE Canada. “The Green Energy Act has created a very positive investment environment and helped fuel the growth of GE and renewable energy in Canada. For GE it’s a remarkable story. In seven years we have grown from our first 100-megawatt Erie Shores Wind farm project to supplying over a thousand megawatts of clean energy to residents and businesses across Ontario by 2015.”
To date GE has announced more than $150 million of investments in Ontario, creating three global centers of excellence: Peterborough Motors; Grid IQ Innovation Centre in Markham; and Pathology Innovation Centre of Excellence in Toronto. GE also is working with a number of Ontario-based businesses that are providing products and services supporting wind farm projects and stimulating new local job creation in multiple regions of Ontario.
The province of Ontario continues to lead Canada in installed wind energy capacity, accounting for about one-third of the nation’s wind energy development, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). Overall, Canada has increased its wind power capacity nearly tenfold in the last six years, as provincial governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impact of electricity generation and stimulate rural and industrial economic development. CanWEA expects that wind energy’s rapid growth in Canada will continue, with production tripling over the next five years.
GE’s wind turbine technology is qualified under ecomagination, the company’s commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water. In 2009, GE Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ontario government to undertake long term investments including investments in research and development and advanced manufacturing in order to enhance economic development in the province.