Wind energy record set in Canada in 2014

A total of 1,871 megawatts of new wind power was installed in five Canadian provinces.

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), after installing a total of 1,871 MW (megawatts) of wind power capacity in five of its provinces during 2014, Canada has set another record for the installation of new wind energy capacity for the second year in a row.

The country’s entire installed capacity is now around 9,700 MW.

The vast majority of the wind growth occurred in Ontario, which installed 999 MW. This was followed by Quebec at 460 MW and Alberta at 350 MW. At the end of the year, Canada had almost 9,700 MW of installed wind energy capacity. This amount of energy produces enough electricity to power more than 3 million typical Canadian homes, annually.

Robert Hornung, the president of CanWEA, said that “Canada’s 37 new wind energy projects in 2014 represent over US$3.5 billion in investment.” Hornung added that this renewable energy source “has now brought economic growth and diversification to more than 100 rural communities across Canada through land lease income, tax payments and community benefits agreements.”

Five manufacturers were responsible for more than 98 percent of new wind energy capacity.

Wind Energy Systems - Wind TurbinesAlthough, in 2014, there were seven wind turbine manufacturers in the Canadian market, five manufacturers in particular were responsible for over 98 percent of new wind capacity. These manufacturers included Siemens, GE, Senvion, Vestas, and Enercon. More than 50 percent of wind turbines came from Siemens and GE.

The CanWEA President said that wind power has shown that it is a cost-competitive, reliable and a proven “energy solution that drives economic diversification, environmental sustainability and rate-base value.” These characteristics are what will continue to encourage growth in this sector in 2015, according to Hornung. CanWEA anticipates that an additional 1,500 MW will come on line this year.

In terms of cost-competitiveness of wind turbine energy, at the end of 2014, Quebec has awarded contracts for 446 MW of new wind projects that will provide power at a cost of 6.3 US-ct/kWh, on average. Despite each market having its own uniqueness, wind has demonstrated that it can compete on cost with just about every form of new electricity producer. This includes coal-fired, nuclear, and hydroelectric power.

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