The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) released the results of polling conducted by Saskatoon-based Insightrix Research at an industry event held in Regina yesterday.
The province-wide representative poll showed overwhelming support for the development of wind energy with 84% of respondents supporting policies that encourage the development of wind energy in Saskatchewan and 78% supporting the development of wind farms near their communities.
“We’re pleased to see the exceptional level of support for wind energy in Saskatchewan,” shared CanWEA president, Robert Hornung. “The wind energy industry is continuously looking to improve and strengthen the ways it consults and engages with residents, local businesses, municipalities and Indigenous communities.”
The polling follows recent announcements that the province will be adding two wind energy projects that together will add nearly 400 MW of wind energy capacity to its grid in the near-term.
“Additionally, the province has put in place wind energy-specific and results-based standards to ensure developments are located and operated with low environmental impacts,” added Hornung. “This combination ensures the groundwork is in place for the best possible projects as the government moves forward with its ambitious plans for renewable power.”
In September, the Ministry of Environment approved the 177-MW Blue Hill Wind Energy Project and in October, SaskPower announced that it had signed a power purchase agreement with Potentia Renewables for its 200-MW Golden South Wind Energy Facility. Both facilities are expected to be operational in 2021 and will more than double Saskatchewan’s installed wind energy capacity.
“As part of our Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy, our government has committed to reduce our emissions from electrical generation by 40% by 2030,” said the Honorable Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Environment, Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, and Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “Increasing wind energy is an integral part of achieving this goal and I am pleased to see the public support for this commitment.”
He added: “We look forward to realizing the environmental and community benefits of increasing Saskatchewan’s wind energy as new projects come online.”
Read the SaskWatch Research report from Insightrix Research on Saskatchewan residents’ perceptions of wind energy