With the commissioning of the K2 Wind Power Project in Ontario, Canada has now become the seventh country in the world to surpass 10 GW of installed wind energy capacity.
‘Meeting the 10,000 MW milestone confirms that Canada is a global leader in wind energy development," notes Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. "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. We have seen three record years for the annual installation of new wind energy capacity, and Canada's wind energy capacity has grown by an average of 1,300 MW, or 24%, annually. This year 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% of domestic Canadian electricity demand. That's enough power to meet the needs of over 3 million average Canadian homes every year.
‘Wind energy is meeting Canada's demand for new electricity in a clean, reliable and cost-competitive way," says Hornung. "As concerns about global climate change grow, wind energy will also need to play a critical role in Canada's transition to a more flexible and decentralized low-carbon electricity system.’
According to CanWEA, every 100 MW of new wind energy 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.