Answering your questions about wind energy

Wind power is now one of Alberta's lowest cost options.

Wind energy is an established and growing player in the Alberta electricity market - not to mention it's reducing emissions!

Alberta is the birthplace of modern wind energy in Canada. Wind energy is providing some of the lowest priced electricity in Alberta’s market. Electricity that is clean, renewable, reduces air emissions and helps to diversify Alberta's electricity supply mix.

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Blackspring Ridge, Vulcan County, Alberta – the largest wind farm in Western Canada.
Photo courtesy of Enbridge Inc.

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Fact: Alberta has an enormous wind potential, but still relies mostly on fossil fuels

  • Canada's first commercial wind farm was built just outside of Pincher Creek, Alberta in 1993… and it's still supplying clean electricity to Alberta’s grid!
  • In 2013, over 5 per cent of the electricity sold on Alberta's market came from wind energy. That's enough energy to power 1 in every 3 homes in the province.
  • Texas is approaching 10 per cent of its power from the wind, Iowa is already over 25 per cent, and  Denmark is leading the world with almost 40 per cent of its annual supply coming from wind - so Alberta still has lots of room to grow.
  • Technology advances have made wind energy one of the lowest cost options available.
  • Despite a world class wind resource, Alberta is not a competitive destination for wind energy investment. Alberta’s electricity market needs to evolve to attract the investment needed to transition to a low-carbon future. The recent commitment by the Alberta government to adopt a globally credible climate change policy represents a tremendous opportunity to begin the transition.
  • Significantly growing the use of wind energy in Alberta does more than green the electricity generation mix and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the long term, Alberta can achieve even greater greenhouse gas emission reductions through the use of non-emitting electricity to electrify transportation, space heating and some industrial processes.
  • You can make a difference by sending a letter to your provincial representative and asking them to support wind energy and the policies that will help it continue to grow.

Fact: Albertans strongly support more wind energy in generating new electricity

A recent Nanos Research survey shows that most Albertans believe wind energy offers many positive benefits and should be part of helping to diversify the province's mix of electricity sources. Albertans also believe:

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Fact: Wind energy is a cost-effective solution for Albertans

  • Wind energy is one of the lowest-cost options available in Alberta, even at today's low natural gas prices; and there's no risk that the wind is going to get more expensive!
  • Wind offers the benefit to consumers of hedging against the risk of future gas price increases.
  • Because there is no fuel cost wind farms can guarantee their low prices for 20 years… or more!

Fact: Wind energy is helping Alberta diversify the economy, create local green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and fight climate change

  • Wind energy can provide substantial amounts of new clean electricity to Albertans while at the same time helping to address health concerns about air quality and increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Wind turbines generate electricity without consuming or contaminating water or emitting air pollutants or greenhouse gases.
  • The largest wind farm in Western Canada was built near Lethbridge in 2014. At 300 MW, a wind farm this size will:

    • Reduce Alberta's GHG emissions by 600,000 tonnes a year - that's the equivalent of taking 120,000 cars off the road.
    • Reduces water consumption by 960 million litres a year, relative to natural gas generation - equivalent to the volume of 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
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Fact: Wind energy is providing significant economic benefits to local communities across Alberta

  • Host communities benefit from wind farms as they provide new incomes for rural landowners, new tax revenues, as well as new local employment opportunities.
  • Download the Alberta Wind. For My Community. brochure to find out more about the local economic benefits that wind energy projects are already bringing to Alberta communities.
  • Wind energy development pays significant economic dividends. Every 150 MW of new capacity represents:

    • $316 million in investment
    • 140 full-time equivalent jobs in construction and 10 permanent jobs in operations and maintenance
    • $17 million in lease payments to landowners over 20 years
    • $31 million in property tax payments to municipalities over 20 years

Looking for more information about wind energy in Alberta?

Canwea Ab Brochure ThumbA brochure called Wind. For My Community. brochure is available on the CanWEA website. Download your copy today to see just a few of Alberta’s success stories.

Find out more about Alberta’s wind energy market on CanWEA’s website.

Visit www.FriendsofWindandSolar.ca to find out how you can participate in the community discussion around wind and solar energy. Here you can learn more about what renewable energy is doing for Canadians, the need for alternative green solutions, the need to counter greenhouse gases and the importance of leadership to drive change. You can take advantage of the tools on this website to join the conversation and help spread the word about wind and solar energy.


Questions? We'll Answer

is it legal to place a windmill and connect it(so it povers your house) all by myself?
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why there are no combined wind-solar systems?it can be done by modifying the existing wind systems by adding stack effect solar thermal systems.
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Norstar Wind looks to produce the model NS 50-23. Any feedback about this machine?
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Dear sir Could you provide us contact or information about 50kw wind turbines produced by this canadian manufacter called: Norstar Wind Ontario?
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Does the Alberta Government allow Wind Farms on public lands yet? If not, it seems rather hypocritical to promote wind energy.
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Why hasn't Canada followed the immensely successful USA renewable energy 30% tax credit incentive? Will they now that Harper govt is out?
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