CEO Q&A: Mike Crawley, President and CEO, International Power Canada
Mike Crawley is President and CEO, International Power Canada. Here he talks about key considerations when assessing wind opportunities in Ontario, new markets across Canada and insulating the industry from political uncertainty.
Canadian Clean: Please share with us some of your key considerations when you look at the opportunities for projects in Ontario today – i.e. what goes into your decision-making process regarding ongoing investment here?
Mike Crawley: We are looking at both short-term and long-term signals. Specifically, with respect to acquisitions, we have been tracking curtailment risk closely and assessing local acceptance of any project. On our own greenfield development, we are looking for more certainty on when the large FIT 2.0 window will open up again. Long-term considerations turn to the likelihood of the government proceeding with new nuclear build and load growth forecasts.
CC: How can developers work to insulate project opportunities more from political uncertainty which has been such a big issue in Ontario?
MC: I think developers need to reach out to all political parties and look for ways that renewable power development can dovetail with their respective agendas and philosophies. We have to sell the value of our product and not simply demand further procurements. Finally, we need to be much more focused on courting and securing community acceptance for our projects, accepting that you will never gain the support of everyone.
CC: Looking ahead, where do you see the new opportunities for renewables in Canada?
MC: Load growth tied to new LNG terminals and gas extraction/transportation in British Colombia may offer opportunities for wind and hydro projects. This will be determined by whether or not the LNG terminals are constructed, how their compressor drives are powered and government decisions on procurement. There may also be smaller opportunities in Alberta and Saskatchewan linked to oil, gas and mining development. In Quebec, we are awaiting a signal from the new government on future wind procurements.
CC: What are you looking forward to at this year’s Ontario Feed-In Tariff Forum?
MC: I’m looking forward to hearing more from turbine vendors about new products for lower, more moderate wind regimes as well as connecting with developers looking for partners to help them build their FIT 1.0 contracted projects. Finally, along with everyone else, we are looking for some indications on the future of the Ontario FIT program.
This April 2-4, Mike will be speaking at the 4th annual Ontario Feed-In Tariff Forum in Toronto.
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