Ontario Leads Canada In Wind Power Development
By year's end, Ontario will have more than 950 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity online, enough to power almost 250,000 homes.
A competitive bid process designed to attract large renewable power projects has resulted in 547.5 MW of wind capacity being added to Ontario's power grid since 2003. Canada's two largest wind farms, the 199.5-MW Melancthon EcoPower Centre near Shelburne and the 189-MW Prince Wind Farm in Sault Ste. Marie, were built through this competitive procurement process.
In total, 10 large projects totalling almost 1,100 MW are proceeding or are in service. Successful bidders receive long-term contracts, encouraging major investments in Ontario's green energy future.
Wind power provides a source of renewable, emissions-free energy to support Ontario's commitment to eliminate dirty, coal-fired electricity by the end of 2014. Using wind to produce enough electricity for just 200 homes instead of burning coal will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tonnes in a year, the same impact as taking 417 cars off the road.
Wind projects provide many spinoff benefits to local communities. They create construction jobs, lease payments for Ontario farmers with turbines on the property and provide a source of tax revenue for local municipalities. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, an estimated 3,785 people were employed in the wind industry in 2006.
Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. is also building the $450-million, 198 MW Wolfe Island Wind Project near Kingston, Ontario and the $40-million, 18 MW Royal Road Wind Project near Picton, Ontario (set to get under construction next year).