The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has praised Ontario’s plan to purchase another 600 MW of wind energy, saying it will provide affordable and reliable electricity to consumers while ensuring the province remains a leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
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 includes 600 MW of new wind energy.
“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,” says CanWEA president Robert Hornung.
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 setting 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 to use zero-emission electricity to power key sectors of the economy, such as buildings, industry and transportation.
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.