TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - The critical business of keeping more than 11,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity operating at peak performance is driving a burgeoning operations and maintenance (O&M) market in Canada, and has attracted more than 100 wind energy professionals to Toronto for the Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CanWEA's) second annual O&M Summit, being held February 24-25, at the Radisson Admiral Hotel – Harbourfront.
As Canada's wind energy sector matures, it becomes increasingly important for leaders in the industry to share ideas, implement innovative new tools and technologies, and build lasting local relationships. "Getting the most out of wind energy facilities is not only good for owners and operators, it is also good for Canada's environment, economy and communities," said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. "Canada's fleet of 6,066 wind turbines have placed us seventh in the world in installed capacity, and with wind energy costs continuing to fall after already plummeting 61 per cent in the past six years alone, it will only continue to grow. We need to ensure our wind farms operate as safely and efficiently as possible and that they are meeting the expectations of the communities where they are located."
An analysis completed for CanWEA shows the total market for wind energy O&M services in Canada will reach an estimated $450 million by 2020, bringing new jobs and investment to the sector as companies look to capture a share of the growing market. Ontario, which is home to nearly 40 per cent of Canada's installed wind energy capacity, is a hub of activity.
"Ontario is a North American leader in renewable energy and clean-tech manufacturing," said Brandy Giannetta, CanWEA's Regional Director in Ontario. "It is working hard to build a greener supply mix and the wind industry is working equally hard to make sure it gets the best value from its wind energy investments."
Mining big data to improve the reliability and performance of assets, cold climate challenges, worker health and safety and post-construction community engagement are among the key issues to be discussed by the summit's line up of expert speakers from across North America. There will also be a tabletop exhibition featuring leading companies in the wind O&M sector. "CanWEA's O&M Summit allows owners, operators, manufacturers and service providers to collectively focus on driving operational excellence in a still maturing Canadian wind industry, which is why TransAlta is pleased to once again be championing this event." says TransAlta's Rochelle Pancoast, Managing Director Gas & Renewables Finance, Commercial & Supply Chain Management. TransAlta is the title sponsor at this year's summit.
"Wind energy is one of the most affordable and environmentally sustainable sources of electricity available today, and that is reflected in the fact that it has been the largest source of new electricity generation in Canada over the last five years," notes Hornung. "We are in the midst of a global shift to renewable sources of energy, a shift that has to happen if we are to come to grips with the climate change threat. Studies have shown Canada will need to produce twice as much renewable electricity as it does today and use it to help power all parts of the economy – including buildings, vehicles, and industrial processes – in order to meet its greenhouse gas reduction commitments. Events like CanWEA's O&M Summit help position our industry to play our part as effectively as possible."
About the Canadian Wind Energy Association
CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. 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. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation at www.windfacts.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Wind Energy Association
Image with caption: "Growth in 2015 (CNW Group/Canadian Wind Energy Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160224_C3512_PHOTO_EN_628244.jpg
Image with caption: "5 years annual growth rate of wind energy in Canada (1,483 MW/year) (CNW Group/Canadian Wind Energy Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160224_C3512_PHOTO_EN_628246.jpg
Image with caption: "Number of grid-connected turbines in Canada (CNW Group/Canadian Wind Energy Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160224_C3512_PHOTO_EN_628248.jpg
For further information: Lejla Latifovic, Communications Advisor, Canadian Wind Energy Association, 613-234-8716 ext. 241, firstname.lastname@example.org