Canada’s Wind Power Reaches 550 MW

Canada’s wind-power capacity, already the fastest-growing form of electricity generation in Canada according to the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), took another step forward with the announcement of funding for two new wind-power projects in Murdochville, Quebec.

Together, the 60 turbines at the Mount Miller and Mount Copper wind farms should provide 108 MW of wind-energy capacity, which would lift Canada’s total wind-power generation capacity from 444 MW to more than 550 MW, an increase of nearly 25 percent. “To address climate change and maintain a strong and growing economy, we need a reliable supply of competitively priced, clean energy,” said Jacques Saada, who is the minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “The Wind Power Production Incentive allows the Government of Canada to play a key role in expanding our supply of clean, renewable wind power, and demonstrates our commitment to action on climate change.” The new wind farms were developed with the support of the Government of Canada’s Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI), which will contribute more than CAD 36.5 million (US $30.2 million) to the two projects over the next ten years. Funding to the WPPI was increased to more than CAD 900 million (US $745.7 million) in the most recent Federal budget, with a goal of adding 4,000 MW to Canada’s wind-energy capacity by 2010. Under the WPPI, eligible recipients, such as independent power producers, utilities and cooperatives, can receive an incentive of approximately one cent per kWh of production for electricity generated by their wind farms. Payments to eligible recipients are made over ten years and begin once a wind farm is commissioned or operational. Typical large-scale wind turbines have a life expectancy of about 20 years. “Wind power is a perfect example of how we can do good for the environment, and do good for business at the same time,” said Robert Vincent, the president of 3CI and co-developer for the Mounts Miller and Copper developments. “The price of wind-generated electricity is becoming more and more competitive, and the Wind Power Production Incentive is playing an important part in accelerating its competitiveness.”
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