GASPÉ, QC -- Canada's wind-power capacity, already the fastest-growing form of electricity generation in Canada, took another significant step forward today with the announcement of funding for two new wind-power projects in Murdochville, Quebec. The announcement was made by Jacques Saada, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, on behalf of R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
Together, the 60 turbines at the Mount Miller and Mount Copper wind farms provide 108 megawatts of wind-energy capacity, lifting Canada's total wind-power generation capacity from 444 to more than 550 megawatts, an increase of nearly 25 percent.
The new wind farms were developed with the support of the Government of Canada's Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI), which will contribute more than $36.5 million to the two projects over the next ten years. The WPPI is administered by NRCan.
"To address climate change and maintain a strong and growing economy, we need a reliable supply of competitively priced, clean energy," said Minister Saada. "The Wind Power Production Incentive allows the Government of Canada to play a key role in expanding our supply of clean, renewable wind power, and demonstrates our commitment to action on climate change."
In the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada made a commitment to quadruple the WPPI, and followed through on that commitment in the most recent federal Budget. Funding to the WPPI has been increased to more than $900 million, with a goal of adding 4,000 megawatts to Canada's wind-energy capacity by 2010.
"Wind power is a perfect example of how we can do good for the environment, and do good for business at the same time," said Mr. Robert Vincent, President of 3CI, Incorporated, co-developer with Northland Power of the Mount Miller wind farm and co-developer with Creststreet Power Holdings of the Mount Copper wind farm. "The price of wind-generated electricity is becoming more and more competitive, and the Wind Power Production Incentive is playing an important part in accelerating its competitiveness."
Under the WPPI, eligible recipients, such as independent power producers, utilities and cooperatives, can receive an incentive of approximately one cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of production for electricity generated by their wind farms. Payments to eligible recipients are made over ten years and begin once a wind farm is commissioned or operational. Typical large-scale wind turbines have a life expectancy of about 20 years.
Including the wind farms commissioned today, Canada's total wind-power capacity is now 552 megawatts. Through the WPPI, the Government of Canada has contributed to the development of almost 60 percent of that capacity. The Government of Canada's approach to climate change is focused on making the right choices for Canada. This will ensure that actions taken contribute to the long-term goals of building a sustainable economy for the 21st century, a healthier environment and strong communities, while affirming Canada's place in the world.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Wind power in Canada received a boost today with the announcement that two new wind farms are being commissioned in Murdochville, Quebec. Supported by the Government of Canada's Wind Power Production Incentive, the two projects will increase Canada's wind-power capacity by nearly 25 percent.