Canada's Wind Energy Sector in Calgary for Two-Day Forum

10 Apr 2018

Canada's wind energy leaders kicked off their annual spring forum to explore trends and opportunities for an industry that, in the coming years, is expected to attract billions of dollars in investment to this province while creating thousands of jobs.

Recent research suggests that between today and 2030, the wind industry will bring investment of $8.3 billion in wind energy projects in Alberta as developers—in partnership with landowners and communities—work to build a network of new facilities to reliably, responsibly, and cost-effectively deliver the clean power that the province needs.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CanWEA) Spring Forum 2018 will delve into these Alberta opportunities, and similar prospects in Saskatchewan, as the two provinces work to replace coal-fired generation with cleaner alternatives. The Forum will also address consultation and partnership with Indigenous communities, as well as new energy services wind energy can provide to the grid.

Speakers and panelists at the Spring Forum will also take a closer look at political perceptions of wind energy and examine the close alignment of wind energy with values and priorities across all political stripes. This includes a keynote luncheon address by the leader of the Conservative Energy Network on day two of the Forum. This coalition of U.S organizations is working to change the politics of clean energy in that country by highlighting the alignment between renewable power production and conservative values.

CanWEA's Spring Forum runs today and tomorrow at the Westin Calgary.

Quotes

"System planners and operators can draw on a wide range of tools and approaches to ensure stable and reliable bulk electricity grids with high levels of wind energy penetration. Today, wind energy makes substantial contributions to grid reliability by supporting voltage and frequency as good as, and sometimes better than, any power plant on the grid. Experience in other countries clearly demonstrates that Canada has the potential to bring significantly more wind energy on line in the years ahead."

Jason MacDowell, Director of Industry and Policy, GE Energy Consulting and Keynote Luncheon Speaker

"Wind energy's major cost declines have, and will continue to be, critical to opening up new opportunities throughout Canada – whether it is to support the coal phase-out, or to fill an emerging power supply gap as nuclear power plants are refurbished in Ontario, or to help the northeast United States reduce its reliance on fossil-fuel powered generation through clean electricity imports from Quebec or Atlantic Canada. Looking ahead, our challenge is to expand the range of products and services provided by wind energy to support the electricity grid."

Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association

"You might be surprised to know that the vast majority of the wind energy brought online south of the border in recent years has been in Republican states. Believe what you want about climate change, but cost-effective energy like wind should be pursued because it makes sense whether you vote on the left or on the right."

Mark Pischea, President, Conservative Energy Network and Keynote Luncheon Speaker

Background

  • On December 13, 2017, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and the Government of Alberta awarded 592 MW of contracts for wind energy as a result of the first round of the Renewable Electricity Program (REP). The weighted average contract cost of $37 per megawatt hour was the lowest-ever price for wind energy generation in Canada and positions wind energy as the lowest cost source of new generation in Canada. 
  • The Alberta Wind Energy Supply Chain Study provides an analysis of the economic opportunities driven by Alberta's Renewable Energy Programthrough 2030 including; an estimated $3.6 billion in local spending on project development and construction; an estimated $137 million in operations and maintenance spending in Alberta; 15,000-person years of direct employment; and $25.5 million in property taxes and $13.5 million land lease payments to Alberta landowners. 
  • Alberta has 1,479 MW of wind energy, the third largest installed capacity among Canadian provinces. Wind currently supplies about eight per cent of the province's electricity demand, and Alberta's target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 has made it the leading market for new wind energy development in Canada. To learn more, please visit the Wind Markets section of CanWEA's website. 
  • Alberta boasts one of the finest wind resources in the country. In fact, the wind industry traces its Canadian roots to the province. Turbines began turning at one of Canada's very first commercial wind farms, Cowley Ridge, about an hour west of Lethbridge, back in 1993. 
  • Saskatchewan also has ambitious targets for wind and renewable energy. SaskPower has a goal of having renewable energy make up 50 per cent of the province's generating capacity by 2030 and this is expected to help cut electricity sector carbon dioxide emissions 40 per cent below 2005 levels and provide local and economic benefits

CanWEA | canwea.ca