End of an era for Cowley Ridge, Canada’s first wind farm

March 14, 2016

Cowley Ridge in Pincher Creek will be decommissioned

Ottawa, Ontario – March 14, 2016 – Jean-François Nolet, vice-president of policy and communications at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) released this statement following the announcement by TransAlta Corporation of the decommissioning of the Cowley Ridge wind farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta.

“Commissioned in 1993, TransAlta’s Cowley Ridge was Canada’s first commercial wind farm. After a long and productive life, the 57-turbine 16 megawatt (MW) wind farm will be decommissioned. For 23 years it has served as a pioneer for wind energy in Canada. In that time, Canada has risen to seventh in the world for installed wind energy capacity, with 11,205 MW today – enough to power over three million homes. Wind turbine technology has also advanced significantly since the Cowley Ridge turbines were mounted on their 24.5 metre lattice towers. With advances in technology came dramatic drops in costs. Wind energy and natural gas are now the most affordable forms of new electricity generation in Alberta, with wind energy having the advantage of no greenhouse gas emissions and no costs for fuel. This is why wind energy has a critical role to play as Alberta takes steps to phase out pollution from coal-fired generation by 2030. Alberta, with its outstanding wind resource, now ranks third in Canada for installed wind energy capacity with 1,500 MW and 958 turbines. While the existing turbines on the Cowley Ridge wind farm are being retired, the wind resource around Cowley Ridge remains. TransAlta is actively reviewing options for repowering the site with the installation of new wind turbines to produce more clean, reliable, affordable wind power on the site.”

About the Canadian Wind Energy Association

CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and join the conversation at www.windfacts.ca.

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Lejla Latifovic, Communications Advisor
Canadian Wind Energy Association
613-234-8716 x 241 or 1-800-922-6932 x 241

Featured Photo ©TransAlta Corporation