Wind energy continues to support Ontario’s electricity supply under new energy plan

Ontario plans to contract 600MW of wind energy in 2014 and 2015 under a new competitive procurement process.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is pleased the Government of Ontario has today indicated that wind energy will make an important contribution to Ontario’s limited, short-term needs for new electricity supply. As part of the Long-Term Energy Plan update announced today, the Ontario Government will request proposals for the supply of 600 megawatts of new, clean wind energy over the next two years.

CanWEA president Robert Hornung says Ontario has a range of options for new electricity generation, but few that match wind energy’s ability to meet the public’s demand for affordable, reliable and environmentally sound electricity.

“We agree with the Government of Ontario that new wind energy is a good choice when new electricity supply is required and we look forward to working with the Government to finalize the details of the initial procurement in the first quarter of 2014,” he says. “Ontario’s wind energy industry is well positioned to provide Ontario with cost competitive and affordable power through this process.”

Mr. Hornung adds that because forecasting electricity demand 10-15 years into the future is challenging, annual reviews of changing supply and demand conditions offer the potential for even greater economic, health and environmental dividends from wind energy beyond 2018.

“Ontario must continue to pursue options that provide reliable electricity, stabilize electricity prices, promote community economic development and protect the environment,” he says. “Wind energy has proven to be an increasingly favourable option for addressing these important public needs.”

As a result, CanWEA is encouraging the Government of Ontario to commit to a long-term target of at least 15 percent of electricity demand being met by wind energy by 2031.

Mr. Hornung says the wind energy industry has made significant progress in recent years in expanding community participation and local benefits.

“Community support will continue to be fundamental to the success of every wind energy project,” he says. “Today, close to one hundred communities in Ontario and across Canada are home to wind energy operations, developments and businesses – prime examples of how the wind industry and local communities continue to thrive and to secure significant mutual benefits.”

CanWEA’s best-practice guidelines for community engagement are part of a continuous effort to improve and strengthen wind industry sustainability as interest in wind energy development grows across Canada.