As the voice of Canada’s wind energy sector, CanWEA actively promotes the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy, and serves as the country’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic, and environmental benefits. PES is proud to present this exclusive update from the organisation, which outlines the success of wind energy in smaller communities.
Wind energy is an abundant and affordable source of electricity that is becoming an increasingly important part of the energy supply mix in Canada and around the world. In Ontario today, wind energy output powers over 440,000 homes. Across the country, wind turbines meet the electricity demands of over 1.2 million homes – and they do it without polluting the air, depleting precious water resources, or producing waste of any kind.
A July 2010 IPSOS-Reid poll commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) found that nine in 10 Ontario residents support the production of wind energy in their region for its economic and environmental benefits. Over 86 per cent of those polled would like to see their municipal government encourage and facilitate wind energy development because they believe it is important that Ontario’s electricity supply become more environmentally friendly.
There is much more to wind energy than clean electricity and desirable environmental benefits. Successful host communities realize growth in the form of new income for rural landowners, net-new tax revenue, employment opportunities for its trades-people and contractors and the financial benefits and potential spin-off from increased tourism. Canada has many examples of the positive impact wind energy has had in communities where development has taken place. Here are a few examples…
Township of Frontenac Islands
Wolfe Island Wind Facility
$25 million investment into the community during construction + $3 million annually.
The 197.8 MW Wolfe Island Wind Facility, made up of 86 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines, is located within the Township of Frontenac Islands. An amenities agreement between the township and TransAlta Corporation, the project’s owner, provides $645,000 per year in revenue to help fund new community services and infrastructure.
Add in royalties to landowners, tax payments and operating and maintenance expenses, and the ongoing local economic benefits add up to more than $3 million a year. That is in addition to the $25 million in direct benefit that flowed to the community during construction, and the time and money spent in the community by the more than 2,000 people who toured the facility during its first summer of operation.