Ontario’s plan to purchase another 600 MW of wind energy will provide affordable and reliable electricity to consumers while ensuring the province remains a leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy, says the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).
Speaking at CanWEA’s annual Spring Forum, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced the province’s Independent Electric System Operator (IESO) will launch a request for proposals (RFP) for additional renewable energy supply that is to include 600 MW of new wind energy.
“Ontario is a North American leader in the development of renewable energy projects. By putting emphasis on price and community support, the next phase of renewable energy procurement will save consumers money by putting further downward pressure on electricity prices,” says Chiarelli.
“Our industry has proven that wind energy is a cost-competitive source of new generation for Ontario and this new RFP ensures the province will continue to secure carbon-free electricity at the best possible price,” says CanWEA President, Robert Hornung. “The wind energy industry looks forward to working collaboratively with the Ontario government to ensure the successful completion of this open and competitive procurement process.”
The RFP will be the second under Ontario’s competitive Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process. The province awarded contracts in March to five wind projects totaling 299.5 MW at an average price of 8.59 cents/kWh in LRP 1. The total capacity of wind energy project proposals in LRP 1 was 2,027 MW, nearly seven times what the IESO was looking to buy, and sets the stage for a highly competitive LRP II.
Ontario’s plan for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 80% over 1990 levels by 2050, while supporting a high-productivity, low-carbon economy, will require the province use zero-emission electricity to power key sectors of the economy like buildings, industry and transportation. CanWEA sees a growing role for wind in the province’s next long-term energy plan, which the province will be drafting in the coming months.
“Ontario is Canada’s wind energy leader and understands the need to cost-effectively and reliably integrate more clean energy sources, like wind energy, into the electricity grid if it is going to meet its environmental and economic goals,” adds Hornung.
Ontario became the first province to surpass 4,000 MW of wind energy after adding a nation-leading 871 MW of new projects in 2015. There are close to 1,800 MW of contracted projects still to be built, in addition to the new capacity to be procured through LRP II.
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