Wind energy poised to significantly increase economic benefits to Ontario:

Continued policy commitment to wind energy critical to capturing investment, creating jobs

OTTAWA, May 18 /CNW/ - Ontario's 2,125 MW of signed contracts for new wind energy developments represent a multi billion-dollar economic opportunity for the province and a chance to create thousands of much-needed jobs. A landmark study of the economic benefits of the wind energy sector in Ontario demonstrates that meeting the wind energy targets identified under the province's Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) would result in billions of dollars of private sector investment in the province and the creation of more than 80,000 person-years of employment between 2011 and 2018.  Commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and performed by ClearSky Advisors, a leading independent research and advisory firm, the study is the most comprehensive examination to date of the economic benefits of the wind energy sector in the province.  The study will be released at the end of the month.

"There is no question the Green Energy Act and its Feed-in-Tariff program have made Ontario a leading destination for wind energy investment in North America and around the world," says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. "An ambitious vision for wind energy development and a stable policy environment is critical to ensure we fully capture Ontario's wind energy opportunity. This industry is right now driving much-needed job creation in places like Windsor and Niagara while reinvigorating this province's proud manufacturing tradition. We must continue to build on successes to date. Any failure to proceed with and respect signed contracts would cause investors to lose faith in the Ontario market, ultimately putting jobs and investment at risk at a time when this province needs both."

In addition to 2,125 MW of signed contracts in place today, applications have already been made for an additional 6,672 MW of wind energy development in Ontario. Ontario is Canada's wind energy leader with 1,636 MW of current installed capacity. Each 100 MW of wind energy development represents a minimum of 100 jobs, $2.5 million in private investment, and $300,000 in revenue to municipal governments in the form of taxes and an equal amount to rural landowners in the form of lease payments. Each 100 MW of wind energy also provides Ontarians with enough clean, affordable electricity to power about 3,000 homes.

"Wind energy investors around the world are looking to jurisdictions that have clear and well defined targets for wind energy development and a comprehensive and competitive policy framework to support such investment going forward," says Hornung. "These conditions exist today in Ontario and the wind energy industry is poised to invest significantly more in Ontario if these conditions remain in place. The wind energy industry is keen to invest, create green jobs, and build a cleaner electricity system in Ontario."

CanWEA is the voice of the wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy throughout Canada on behalf of its more than 450 members. 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. The document Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca

SOURCE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION

For further information:

Ulrike Kucera
Media Relations
613-234-8716, ext. 228

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CANADIAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION

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