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CanWEA applauds Ontario's call for transmission investments to support wind energy

Jun 13, 2006 - Canadian Wind Energy Association

Wind energy industry poised to surpass government objectives and timelines but a procurement strategy for more wind energy is required

OTTAWA - The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is pleased that the Ontario Government's "Integrated Power System Plan Directive" to the Ontario Power Authority today called for strengthening the transmission system to facilitate the development and use of wind energy where the most significant development opportunities exist. Specifically, the need for expanded transmission capacity from Bruce County and surrounding area was identified as a priority.

"A commitment to expand transmission capacity from Bruce County should immediately free up space for significant new wind energy development in Ontario", says Robert Hornung, CanWEA President. "Ontario has already signed contracts for 1,300 MW of wind energy and more than 200 MW are already contributing to Ontario's electricity supply, but several hundred additional MW of projects are poised and ready to proceed."

While today's announcement also envisions a significantly enhanced role for wind energy in Ontario's electricity supply mix going forward, CanWEA was disappointed by the targets and timetables for future wind energy development, and the failure to outline a clear schedule for future procurement of wind energy. CanWEA believes that it is possible to both move more quickly and integrate much larger penetrations of wind than is currently being contemplated. CanWEA has advocated for the development of 6,000 MW of wind in Ontario by 2015, and 8,000 MW by 2020.

"Aside from Standard Offer Contracts, which are restricted to projects of 10 MW or less, there are currently no processes that are clearly moving forward to procure additional wind energy in Ontario", says Hornung. "If such processes are not implemented prior to the final approval of a new Integrated Power System Plan by the Ontario Energy Board, it is likely that some wind energy investors will leave Ontario for more timely opportunities elsewhere and abandon projects currently under development here."

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) represents more than 230 companies involved in Canada's wind energy industry, including wind turbine and component manufacturers, wind energy project developers, electric utilities and service providers to the wind energy industry. CanWEA's goal is to see 10,000 MW of wind energy capacity either contracted on installed in Canada by 2010. For further information: Léonie Bouvier, Director of Communications, (613) 234-8716 ext. 223, leoniebouvier@canwea.ca