2012 marks Ontario’s claim as the largest producer of wind energy in Canada among all Canadian provinces, with more than 1,950 megawatts of installed wind power capacity generated by more than 1,000 wind turbines. By 2018, Ontario expects to install more than 5,600 megawatts of new wind energy capacity, creating 80,000 person years of employment and attracting $16.4 billion in private investment.
Subject to final approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the targeted start for construction on the 124-turbine Ontario joint venture between Pattern and Samsung is the third quarter of 2012, with the wind power project fully operational by early 2014.
"South Kent Wind is one of four separate wind energy power purchase agreements between Pattern, Samsung and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) that will ultimately provide 870 megawatts of clean energy to OPA, enough to power more than 300,000 homes every year," said Stuart McFadden, Manager, Business Development, Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
"South Kent Wind and our other wind projects under development in Ontario represent a historic commitment to creating jobs, building factories and installing wind power projects in the province," said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. "These projects and the establishment of wind tower and blade factories in Ontario are direct evidence of the government’s initiatives creating a vibrant green energy economy and putting thousands of Ontarians to work."
The plans for the $600 million South Kent Wind project will create Ontario economic benefits including approximately 300 construction jobs, 20 permanent jobs, an estimated $800,000 of annual tax revenue, and a community benefits program supporting local causes over the life of the project. The project’s environmental benefits include the production of clean and renewable energy equivalent to the annual needs of 73,000 Ontario homes and offsetting more than 877,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to electricity generated by coal — equal to taking 157,000 cars off the roads each year.
Ontario is a North American leader in the adoption of green energy policies with its passing of the Green Energy Act in May 2009. Targeted programs available to the alternative energy and clean technology sector include: Ontario Power Authority Feed-in Tariff Program, the $590 million SDTC SD Tech Fund, the $500 million SDTC NextGen Biofuels Fund, the Ontario Emerging Technology Fund, the Ontario Innovation Demonstration Fund and the Ontario Power Authority Conservation Fund.
The Ontario Clean Technology Alliance offers a highly educated workforce, excellent growth opportunities, a low-risk business environment, and generous R&D tax credits that are the envy of other countries. The Alliance includes Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa Region, City of Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Niagara Region, Windsor-Essex, City of London, Sarnia-Lambton, City of Guelph, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada as well as the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation are also Alliance partners.