Wednesday’s program at the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Calgary opened with a focus on Alberta. A session featuring industry stakeholders and grid operators addressed the changing dynamics for wind energy in Alberta following the recent change in government.
According to panelists, the province remains a leading market for wind energy development and production; it had an installed capacity of just below 1.5 GW as of December 2018. Significant further capacity is being built out under existing contracts, with recent procurements having delivered record-low prices. Panelists emphasized that they expect continued wind energy development as Alberta continues to diversify its electricity generation mix.
The luncheon keynote featured technical experts who gave a plain-language description of how electricity grids can reliably integrate wind energy and how wind energy itself can support electricity grid reliability – thus, better equipping delegates to discuss this issue as the industry supports the ongoing transformation of the electricity system.
“Wind energy is at an exciting juncture across the Prairie provinces. We have high-quality wind resources in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and our members have a long track record of harnessing them,” comments Evan Wilson, Prairies regional director at CanWEA. “It is clear that we are well-positioned to support current investments and create new development opportunities that will tap into wind’s low cost and clean energy attributes for the benefits of all consumers.”
In addition to panelists and keynotes, conference participants have access to a set of vendors. Some 100 exhibitors participating this year include equipment manufacturers; design, engineering and construction firms; community partners and specialized consultancies; and providers of and advisors on the latest technology.
“The CanWEA conference is an excellent opportunity to meet with established business partners and make new connections from across all markets in Canada,” says Adam Sirignano, senior commercial manager at ENERCON Canada Inc. “I am always amazed by the passion, enthusiasm and collective commitment to sustainability within the wind energy industry. Discussing new and innovative ways of deploying renewable energy across Canada with peers and industry experts really gives me hope that we are leading the market towards a bright and sustainable future.”
“Renewable energy is clearly where some of the most interesting energy-related work is taking place in Canada, and the longer-term growth outlook for clean generation is tremendous,” adds Rob Nadolny, renewables subsector lead at Stantec. “For our part, we find the CanWEA conference to be an essential connection point with wind energy developers and an essential source of added insight on where this important and dynamic sector is heading.”
CanWEA, in partnership with Hannover Fairs, brought the 35th Annual CanWEA Conference and Exhibition back to Calgary’s BMO Centre for a second consecutive year. Download the Show Guide for a full conference program.