The Ontario government’s commitment to wind energy has been outlined in its directive to the OPA. It is intended to send a signal to investors that Ontario will be a leader in creating clean energy and new jobs, says the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The Long Term Energy Plan calls for an increase to 10,700 MW of renewable energy in Ontario and transmission upgrades to support them. Wind energy represents most of the development.
“Wind energy’s growing contribution to Ontario’s electricity supply is creating jobs and economic opportunities for manufacturers, service providers, landowners, and rural municipalities in Ontario,” says CanWEA president Robert Hornung. “Reaffirming the government’s target for new wind-energy supply and proceeding quickly with new contracts for wind-energy projects and necessary transmission upgrades will strengthen investor confidence that Ontario is a good place to do business.”
Growing from the current 1,598 MW of wind energy capacity to about 7,000 MW by 2018 represents more than 450% growth. This means a minimum of 12,500 jobs created to support industry construction and operations to 2018, more than $12.5 billion in new investment for the province, and roughly $22 million in annual lease payments to landowners and an equal amount in tax benefits to municipalities.
“The wind energy industry looks forward to awarding new wind-energy contracts and working with government and the Ontario Power Authority to hit this target and move beyond it after 2018,” says Hornung. “We will also continue to work to ensure that wind-energy development in communities is both responsible and sustainable.”
Wind energy has increased 10-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impacts of electricity generation, and stimulate rural and industrial economic development. Canada currently has 4,155 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Ontario is the provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity with 1,598 of wind energy development. Quebec and Alberta follow at 663 MW and 806 MW respectively, and Canada’s remaining seven provinces together account for the remainder .
Canadian Wind Energy Association