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Wind is the world's fastest growing energy source with sustained worldwide growth rates in excess of 20% annually. By the end of 2011, world-wide wind-generated capacity was over 237,000 megawatts (MW). As of July 2012 Canada had 5511 MW – representing over 2% of the global installed capacity! This is enough to power over 1 million homes or equivalent to about 2 % of Canada's total electricity demand, and the Canadian market is growing as fast or faster as the global market. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, (GWEC), Canada is ranked 9th overall in installed wind generating capacity and estimates suggest that wind generated electricity could represent over 3% of Canadian electricity demand by 2015. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), we have about 50,000 MW of developable wind resource-enough to supply about 20% of Canada's electricity supply.
Improvements in technology have lowered the cost of wind generated power, so that today, wind power can compete with traditional sources of generation. Manitoba has a world-class wind resource and is well positioned to be a leader in this emerging energy. With the recent commissioning of the 138 MW St. Joseph Wind Farm and the 16.5 MW expansion of the St. Leon wind farm to 120.45 MW Manitoba now has over 258 MW of installed capacity.
Because wind is intermittent, it must be firmed and shaped so it can be supplied to customers when they need it. Manitoba Hydro has good firming and shaping capabilities. When the wind is blowing, water can be stored in reservoirs. When the wind is calm, water is released to generate power at the dam site ensuring that customers get firm power on demand. In addition, our wind regime is most productive in the winter months when our peak demand for power occurs. Manitoba has very good access to transmission lines so we can move the energy effectively and we have an enthusiastic rural population that embraces wind development. So, overall Manitoba is well positioned to become a leader in wind generation.
Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines
Energy Development Initiative
12th floor, 155 Carlton St.
Winnipeg, MB | R3C 3H8
In Winnipeg contact Rick Halas (945-4004)