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Surge in new Canada wind installations seen through 2016

Canada will achieve record wind energy development in 2013 with at least 1.5GW in new capacity and is on track to reach 12GW in total installations by 2016, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

It anticipates that Canada will have about 6.5GW of capacity installed at the end of this month including 1.2GW placed in commercial operation this year. Projects commissioned this year are located in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories.

As of Tuesday, Canada had 159 wind farms comprising 3,526 turbines supply enough power for almost two million Canadian homes. The country ranks ninth for total installed wind capacity, according to the industry group.

A thumbnail of each province:

Alberta: 34 projects, 752 turbines and 1.16GW capacity. Two 2012 projects totaling 225.3MW. Up to nine projects scheduled for 2013.

British Columbia: four projects, 162 turbines and 390MW by end of this year. One 142MW project this year of 142MW and one for 99MW scheduled in 2013.

Manitoba: four projects, 133 turbines and 258.4MW capacity. A 16.5MW project this year.

New Brunswick: 294MW installed.

Newfoundland: 54.7MW installed.

Nova Scotia: 32 projects, 179 turbines and 324MW capacity. Three projects this year totaling 38.4MW.

Ontario: 45 projects, 1,093 turbines and 2.02GW capacity. Four projects in 2012 totaling 50MW and a 23MW project due online this month. Up to nine projects scheduled for 2013, representing more than 400MW.

Prince Edward Island: 163.6MW installed. A 10MW project planned for 2013.

Quebec: 16 projects, 840 turbines, 1.25GW capacity. Three projects installed this year totaling 329MW with additional 400MW due online this month. Up to 10 projects scheduled for 2013, representing about 900MW.

The Northwest Territories installed 9.2MW of capacity in 2012 – four turbines at a diamond mine.

Wind turbine suppliers with installations this year were Enercon, General Electric, REpower, Siemens and Vestas.

CanWEA President Robert Hornung on a conference call says he expects 1.5GW in yearly installations in 2014 through 2016, driven mainly by aggressive project pipelines in Ontario, Quebec and, to a lesser extent, in British Columbia.

Alberta has a 4GW project pipeline but this is contingent on electricity market price levels and variability, he adds. The province is the only one in Canada with a market-based electricity system and no long-term purchase agreements for wind exist.