Wind energy poised to provide boost to western Canadian economies

More than 1,500 gather in Calgary for Canada's largest wind energy conference and exhibition

CALGARY, Nov. 1, 2016 /CNW/ -Canada's wind energy sector is ready to invest in projects worth billions of dollars in Alberta and Saskatchewan as governments in both provinces implement policies to significantly increase the amount of emissions-free electricity on their power grids, industry leaders agreed at the kick-off of the Canadian Wind Energy Association's 32nd Annual Conference and Exhibition today in Calgary.

More than 1,500 wind energy professionals from Canada and around the world are attending CanWEA 2016, being held Nov. 1-3 at the BMO Centre. Hosted by CanWEA and Hannover Fairs (Canada), the 2 ½-day event features a dynamic line up of expert speakers on a range of topics that include business development opportunities, wind energy market trends, industry best practices and technology innovation. More than 120 exhibitors representing the industry's leading global companies are showcasing the latest in wind energy-related products and services on the tradeshow floor.

Calgary's mayor, His Worship Naheed Nenshi, delivered the opening remarks at the first plenary session where wind energy opportunities in western Canada were in the spotlight. The Alberta government recently announced that it will support the installation of 5,000 MW of renewable energy as it works to meet its goal of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, a plan expected to attract at least $10.5 billion in new investment and create a minimum of 7,200 new jobs. Saskatchewan has also targeted the addition of at least 1,600 MW of wind energy to its electricity supply mix over the next 15 years.

Both provinces are expected to start the process of purchasing new wind power before the end of the year. Mr. Guy Bruce, the vice-president of planning, environment and sustainable development at SaskPower updated conference participants on the work they're doing to move forward with an initial procurement. Delegates also heard from panels of industry and business leaders who noted that the significant long-term targets for new clean energy development in both provinces has attracted the attention of numerous investors who are looking forward to further implementation details that will enable them to move forward on plans to help both provinces capitalize on their massive wind energy potential.  

Alberta will be back in the spotlight on Thursday, when The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Alberta's minister of environment and parks and minister responsible for the climate change office addresses delegates at the morning plenary, followed by the Alberta Electric System Operator's (AESO) vice president of renewables development and sustainability, Mr. Michael Law, who will speak at Thursday's keynote luncheon.  

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, the federal minister of environment and climate change will address delegates at Wednesday's keynote luncheon.


"Many new growth opportunities for our industry have emerged in the west and that's why it's so important to be here in Calgary at the heart of the action. Wind energy represents a massive opportunity for Alberta and Saskatchewan and capitalizing on the world-class wind resources in the region can help both provinces meet aggressive climate change goals in a cost-effective way. The industry is eager to demonstrate how wind energy can help position both provinces for success in the transition to a low-carbon economy."
- Robert Hornung, president, Canadian Wind Energy Association

"Over the next few years, a large number of SaskPower's generating facilities will reach the end of their life spans, and on top of that, we expect demand for electricity to continue to grow as our province grows. Wind energy is an affordable way to help meet that challenge, and at the same time help SaskPower meet its goal of reducing electricity sector greenhouse emissions 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030."
- Guy Bruce, vice-president of planning, environment & sustainable development, SaskPower


  • Canada currently has more than 11,200 MW of wind energy, the seventh largest wind generating fleet in the world. More wind energy has been built in Canada over the last five years than any other form of electricity generation, with installed capacity growing by an average of 23 per cent a year over that time frame. To learn more, please visit the Wind Markets section of CanWEA's website.
  • CanWEA's recently-released Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study demonstrates that provinces across Canada can reliably integrate the large amounts of renewable energy required to meet climate change goals.
  • CanWEA 2016 event website: Download the mobile app by searching CanWEA2016 in the App Store and Google Play.

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 LinkedIn. Learn more at

About the CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition
The CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition is organized by Hannover Fairs Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe AG, in partnership with the Canadian Wind Energy Association. The event is Canada's biggest wind-energy fair. CanWEA 2016 is scheduled for November 1-3, 2016 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

About Hannover Fairs
Hannover Fairs develops and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events in Hannover, Germany and the United States, as well as in such key emerging markets as China, India and Turkey. Working closely with its clients, Hannover Fairs helps them maintain their competitive position on and off the event floor.  The company's programs reflect the global scope of Deutsche Messe's activities and include such world-renowned B-to-B trade fairs as CeBIT (information and communications technology), DOMOTEX (floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), and LIGNA HANNOVER (forestry and wood industries).


SOURCE Canadian Wind Energy Association

Image with caption: "Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) welcomes Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi during the opening of CanWEA 2016 in Calgary, Alta. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 2016. Bryan Passifiume/CanWEA (CNW Group/Canadian Wind Energy Association)". Image available at:

For further information: Lejla Latifovic, Communications Advisor, Canadian Wind Energy Association, On-site/cell: 613-608-8226,


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