Collaboration holds key to reaping benefits of tremendous resource
The four provinces on Canada’s Atlantic coast have made impressive strides in utilizing their world-class wind energy resources.
There remains significant potential to build on this strong foundation. CanWEA’s recently released Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study (PCWIS) found the Maritimes region not only has some of the strongest wind regimes in Canada, but because of the way production correlates with periods of peak demand, it also has some of the country’s highest-value wind resources. This makes wind energy the lowest-cost option for new electricity supply in Atlantic Canada.
The region is well-positioned to export clean energy to the northeast U.S. where the looming retirement of thousands of megawatts of aging coal and nuclear plants, pending federal rules designed to cut power plant emissions, and increasingly stringent renewable energy portfolio standards have left states looking for reliable and cost-effective solutions. Replacing polluting coal generation and aging power plants in Atlantic Canada is a second avenue of potential growth.
There relatively small, fragmented electricity markets in the region makes it a challenge to integrate the potentially large amounts of wind energy these emerging sources of demand will require. Interjurisdictional co-operation, including transmission reinforcements within the provinces and new cross-border transfer capacity will be key. Fortunately, governments across the region understand this and have agreed to work together to build a clean energy future.
Wind by the numbers in Atlantic Canada (December 2015)
Number of installations: 81
Number of Wind Turbines: 521
Total Installed Capacity (MW): 1,104 MW
Average Turbine Capacity (MW): 2.12 MW
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Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Department of Energy
PEI Energy Corporation
New Brunswick Power
New Brunswick Energy and Resource Development
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources
The Council of Atlantic Premiers
Atlantica Centre for Energy