The turbines will deliver a combined capacity of 650MW to the Canadian grid, taking GE’s total capacity in Canada to 1.2 GW by 2015. The company has not yet revealed which projects it will be supplying.
The order highlights the speed at which Canada’s wind market is developing, particularly in Ontario, where renewables-friendly legislation has boosted investment.
“Ontario is a very hot wind market for GE right now,” says Simon Olivier, general manager of renewable energy sales for GE Canada. “The Green Energy Act has created a very positive investment environment and helped fuel the growth of GE and renewable energy in Canada.”
Ontario’s Green Energy Act, passed in 2009, introduced generous feed-in tariff rates for clean energy development. As a result, Ontario currently accounts for around a third of Canada’s total wind energy development, which has itself increased tenfold in the past six years. This development has primarily been driven by the need for provincial Government to meet rising energy demand, reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation, as well as stimulating rural and industrial economic development.
According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, this rapid growth rate will continue, with electricity production from wind power tripling over the next five years.
GE has been active in Ontario for 7 years, first supplying turbines to the 100MW Erie Shores wind farm, off the north shore of Lake Erie. The company’s total investment commitments for all its business areas in the province have now reached over US$150 million.