2006 Already a Record Year for Canadian Wind Power

Canada’s wind energy industry has already broken its annual growth record in 2006 and is set to shatter it before the year is out. As of April 2006, Canada had installed 260 MW of new wind energy capacity, breaking the existing record of 239 MW established in 2005. An additional 250 MW of new wind energy capacity is expected to be installed in Canada before the end of 2006. Canada currently has 943 MW of installed wind energy capacity, enough to power more than 285,000 homes.

“With Canada’s installed wind energy capacity expected to grow by more than 70% this year, it is clear that growth in Canada’s wind energy production is rapid and accelerating,” said Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. “A solid foundation is being built in 2006 that puts Canada’s wind energy industry on track to meeting and exceeding current provincial government objectives that seek a minimum of 8,500 MW of wind energy to be in place in Canada by 2015.” Projects already installed this year include the Kettles Hill Wind Farm in Alberta, the Centennial Wind Power Facility in Saskatchewan, the St. Leon Wind Farm in Manitoba, and the Kingsbridge and Melancthon Wind Power Projects in Ontario. These projects represent a total investment of $503 million and provide a number of local economic benefits in the form of lease income to landowners, tax revenues to municipal governments, and new investment and jobs in rural communities across Canada. The Federal Government’s Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI), coupled with provincial government procurement processes for wind and renewable energy, has played a key role in facilitating wind energy development in Canada to this point. The 2005 Federal Budget commitment to expand the objective of the WPPI program to a level of 4,000 MW of wind energy development in Canada by 2010 will help ensure that Canada’s wind energy industry will continue to grow rapidly for the remainder of 2006 and beyond. “Even though the growth of Canada’s wind energy industry is impressive, we must not lose sight of the fact that wind energy continues to develop more quickly in other countries,” said Hornung. “With Canada’s unparalleled wind resource, there are still opportunities to do more to maximize the economic, industrial development, and environmental benefits associated with wind energy for Canada.”
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