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New wind energy projects could spur $72 billion in investment, 52,000 new jobs

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The Ontario government announced a gust of fresh air for clean technology Friday, revealing it had signed long-term contracts for six new wind energy projects in the provinceThe announcement brings Ontario’s installed wind energy capacity to 1,500 MW. Currently, the province sits at 782 MW of capacity, enough to power 230,000 homes.

“We believe that wind energy represents a tremendous opportunity for Ontario,” said Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), in a press release. “This announcement is timely in that it will help Ontario meet its future electricity needs while also supporting significant investment and job creation at a time when the province is seeking economic stimulus.”

The new wind energy projects are expected to total 492 MW in power output: in comparison, a CANDU 6 nuclear reactor produces 740 MW. Canada’s total installed capacity sits at 2,369 MW — Ontario is currently the wind technology leader in the country, accounting for roughly one-third of that number.

“We look forward to further announcements of new procurement processes from the Government of Ontario that will continue the province’s momentum in growing wind and other renewables” said Mr. Hornung.

The announcement helps boost CanWEA’s vision of wind energy providing 20% of Canada’s electricity needs. Titled Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada’s Future, the plan says if the goal is met, it will result in $79-billion in new investment and 52,000 new jobs. It also highlights $165-million in new revenue can be created for rural municipalities hit by declining traditional resource industries.

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