Member Country Activities for Canada
Canada is the seventh largest producer of wind energy in the world. It has over 9.6 GW of installed wind energy capacity, which produces enough power to meet about 3.8% of the country’s total electricity demand. Canada has approximately 230 wind farms, spread across ten provinces and two territories.
In 2014, Canada ranked sixth globally in terms of new wind energy capacity, with nearly 1,900 MW installed in five provinces. This is the largest increase in cumulative capacity ever in Canada, with 37 new projects commissioned, comprised of 938 wind turbines. The province of Ontario led the way, with approximately 1 GW of new installations and now has more than 3 GW of installed capacity.
Nearly half of the 37 new wind energy projects commissioned in 2014 included significant ownership stakes by First Nations, municipal corporations, and local farmers. These projects were contracted under calls for tender or feed-in-tariff (FIT) programs that targeted these partnerships.
In November 2014, Health Canada released the summary results of its study “Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study.” The study concludes that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and self-reported medical illnesses and health conditions, although it did identify a relationship with annoyance. More detailed analyses will be released through peer-reviewed conference papers and journals in 2015.
The trend toward improving approaches to the grid integration of wind energy and other variable energy generation sources continued in 2014. Examples of this include: the electricity system operators in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario dispatching wind energy; the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) procured 34 MW of grid-connected electricity storage facilities; and the continued progress on the Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study, which is the first time that a study will model the interconnected Canadian bulk power transmission system.
Canada also demonstrated that electricity generated by wind energy is becoming a cost-competitive option. In 2014 Hydro-Québec issued a call for tenders for 450 MW. Through this process, Hydro-Québec selected three projects totaling 446.4 MW, and will pay an average price of 0.063 CAD/kWh (0.045 EUR/kWh; 0.054 USD/kWh) for the energy.