Canadian wind capacity surges past 10,000 megawatts
Wind energy now meeting up to 5 per cent of electricity demand, powering as many as 3 million homes
OTTAWA—Canada’s wind energy industry has taken another significant leap forward. With the commissioning of the K2 Wind Power Project in southwestern Ontario this month, Canada has now become the 7th country in the world to surpass 10,000 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
“Meeting the 10,000 MW milestone confirms that Canada is a global leader in wind energy development,” Robert Hornung CanWEA President said. “Wind energy’s cost competitiveness, coupled with the fact that it produces no greenhouse gas emissions, means it is well positioned to continue its rapid growth as a mainstream contributor to Canada’s electricity supply.”
Over the last five years, more wind energy capacity has been installed in Canada than any other form of electricity generation. Canada’s wind energy capacity has grown by an average of 1,300 megawatts, or 24 per cent annually over the last five years, and 2015 is on track to exceed this five-year average for new installations.
Wind turbines are now operating in every province in Canada, and in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, providing clean wind energy to over 100 communities and accounting for nearly 5 per cent of domestic Canadian electricity demand. That’s enough power to meet the needs of over 3 million average Canadian homes every year.
Every 100 megawatts of new wind power brings 1,000 person-years of employment during the construction phase of a wind energy project and 350 person-years of work in long-term operations and maintenance. In addition, wind energy is delivering significant economic benefits to local economies through property tax payments, community benefit agreements and land lease contracts. Every megawatt of new wind energy represents an investment of approximately $2 million.