Wind developers look to Ontario in the midst of PTC uncertainty

Planning for wind energy developments in the U.S. for 2013 is literally at a stand-still due to the uncertainty of an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). But that isn’t stopping some developers from moving forward with new projects for next year. These new builds might, however, pop up not in the U.S., but in a community with a stable government support for renewable energy – Ontario.

Established in 2010, the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program was North America’s first guaranteed pricing structure for renewable energy generation. The provincial government’s goal is to reach 10,700 MW of non-hydro renewable generation installed by 2018. This drive for mostly wind and solar installations has led many developers, like Pattern Energy, to head north as they wait out the uncertainty period in the U.S.

Pattern Energy Group LP, a U.S.-based wind and transmission company, is currently in the final stages of planning for a $600 million, 270 MW wind project joint venture with Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. Pending final approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the targeted start for construction on the 124-turbine South Kent Wind project is the third quarter of 2012, with the wind project fully operational by early 2014.

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, said stale policy for wind energy in the U.S. has undoubtedly caused his company, as well as other developers, to look north. “We clearly have increased our focus and spending in Canada compared to the U.S. Our Ontario projects help us to continue investing in projects and communities despite the political uncertainty affecting the U.S. market.”

Of the 10,700 MW of renewable energy expected in Ontario by 2018, about 2,000 MW is currently installed, with another 3,600 MW contracted out, said Stuart McFadden, Chatham-Kent member of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance. Of that, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) expects that 5,600 MW of new wind energy capacity will be installed in Ontario by 2018. That leaves a lot of opportunity left for developers to propose new wind projects, McFadden said.

Canada is the ninth largest producer of wind energy in the world with a current capacity of 5,403 MW –about 2.3 percent of Canada’s total electricity demand. In 2011, Canada experienced a record year with the addition of 1,267 MW of new wind energy capacity. In Ontario alone, 500 MW of wind energy was installed in 2011.

Currently, Ontario has wind developments completed or underway by Samsung/Pattern, RES Canada, Kruger Energy, International Power Corp., Boralex Inc., Invenergy, Suncor Energy, Brookfield, Enbridge and more.

Establishing a FIT to help finance projects has undoubtedly spurred the renewable energy growth in Ontario, McFadden said, and has greatly benefitted the economy as well. “The FIT was a bold move by the province. A lot of provinces are waiting to see what happens with Ontario before they jump in.”

In the aftermath of a slowing wind market in the U.S., Garland said he expects wind energy growth all throughout Canada to gain momentum. “We consider Ontario a terrific model for other provinces.”

Read more business policy news

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Report: Nuclear waste repository design meets NRC requirements after shutdown

The latest evaluation of a geologic nuclear waste repository in Nevada says the proposed design meets limits or standards set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Rhode Island Governor signs renewables energy legislation

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed renewable energy legislation, Affordable Clean Energy Security Act, that includes provisions to advance regional development.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Latest News

Shutterstock coal production trucks

Weekly Coal Production

The Weekly Coal Production shows how much coal is being produced across the U.S.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Weekly Economic Indicators financial business

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Economic Indicators

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers a glimpse into how the markets are doing domestical...

Kvaerner awarded contract for gas-fired power plant in Delaware

Kvaerner North American Construction Inc. and its joint venture partner, Parsons Brinckerhoff...

Canadian Solar purchases two solar projects

Canadian Solar Inc. has acquired a majority interest in two utility-scale solar power project...

Operators Restart Unit 2 at PPL Susquehanna

Unit 2 at the PPL Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa. resumed generating electr...

Settlement agreement limits cost recovery at Edwardsport

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Dec. 27 modified and approved a settlemen...

Toshiba in talks to sell portion of Westinghouse nuclear unit

Toshiba Corp is in talks  to sell up to 16% of its stake in the Westinghouse Electric Co...

Utah nixes nuclear waste storage facility

Plans to park radioactive waste at a storage facility in Utah have been officially called off.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover

Power Industry Wire News

Hula Partners Names Luke Marson as Chief Cloud HCM Architect

Hula Partners Names Luke Marson as Chief Cloud HCM Architect

Shipments of Princeton Power Systems' GTIB Converter Product Line Surpass 50 Megawatts

Shipments of Princeton Power Systems' GTIB Converter Product Line Surpass 50 Megawatts

The 2.4 Million Reasons We're Flying the Flag for Lung Month

The 2.4 Million Reasons We're Flying the Flag for Lung Month

CyberFuels, Inc. "Singular 96(TM)" Certified by California Independent Laboratory for Measures of MPG, Performance, and Environmental Impact

CyberFuels, Inc. "Singular 96(TM)" Certified by California Independent Laboratory for M...

Midwest Energy Emissions Corp. Announces 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and Business Update Meeting

Midwest Energy Emissions Corp. Announces 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and Busin...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>


Power Engineering Newscasts

EPA chief: carbon caps will boost economy
Australia, Russia enter nuclear power agreement with Argentina
Largest battery energy storage in North America now operational
EPA chief: carbon caps will boost economy Largest battery energy storage in North America now operational Australia, Russia enter nuclear power agreement with Argentina Texas’ Panda Temple combined cycle plant up and running
Siemens agrees to acquire Dresser-Rand
Safety concrete poured at UAE nuclear reactor power project
Foster Wheeler to upgrade natural gas-fired power plant’s emission controls
GE, TransCanada partner on natural gas turbine design
Energy storage global market to grow to $15.6B by 2024; DOE awards $2M to support taller wind turbine towers; Hinkley Point C nuclear project have financial incentives approved; N.J. company building waste-to-energy project in Ireland