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Ontario’s Commitment to Wind Energy

Wind turbine in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario
Capturing the wind in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario.
(cc) Diego Torres Silvestre

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) applauds the Ontario government’s strengthened commitment to wind energy through its Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) announced this month. CanWEA is pleased to see that the LTEP envisions 10,700 MW of renewable energy in Ontario by 2018 and significant new transmission investment to support them. Wind energy will represent the strong majority of this development.

“Wind energy’s growing contribution to Ontario’s electricity supply is already creating jobs and economic opportunities for manufacturers, service providers, landowners and rural municipalities in Ontario,” said Canadian Wind Energy Association president Robert Hornung. “Surveys have indicated that there are currently more than 1,300 people employed full-time directly in wind energy in Ontario thanks to the Green Energy Act – and studies have indicated that for every new direct job there are two indirect jobs created. We have only begun to scratch the surface in terms of potential for new jobs and investment.”

Every 1,000 MW of new installed wind generation capacity represents approximately $2.75 billion in private sector investment, 1,000 new jobs, and enough electricity to power 300,000 Canadian homes. It also provides a minimum of $3 million in annual lease payments for farmers and other rural landowners as well as a similar amount in new taxes for rural municipalities.

“The wind energy industry looks forward to working co-operatively with government and the Ontario Power Authority to achieve this target and to move beyond it after 2018,” said Hornung. “We will also continue to work to ensure that wind energy development in communities is both responsible and sustainable.”

Canada currently has 3,549 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Ontario is the provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity with 1,298 MW (one-third) of wind energy development. Quebec and Alberta follow at 663MW and 656 MW respectively (one-third), and Canada’s remaining seven provinces together account for the remaining one-third.

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.

CanWEA is a non-profit industry association representing more than 450 members of the wind energy industry, including wind turbine manufacturers, component suppliers, wind energy project developers and a broad range of service providers to the industry. CanWEA’s mission is to support the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy in Canada.

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