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Ontario wind power projects help drive concrete demand

Ontario’s concrete industry has been enjoying the benefits of the province’s efforts to construct more wind energy and turbines.

Concrete has been the material of choice to use as the foundation for wind towers, according the NextEra Energy, one of the largest wind and solar energy developers in North America.

“Given its durability, resilience and continuously improving environmental footprint, concrete can play an important role in building sustainable infrastructure,” said the Cement Association of Canada in a statement to the Daily Commercial News.

“Enabling the deployment of sustainable energy by providing an important building material for wind turbines is one exciting example. Concrete also provides added economic benefits to communities where these turbines are built since concrete is always produced locally.”

NextEra Energy uses over 800 metric tons of concrete for each turbine they construct, with investments worth $1.7 billion and 8 wind projects in Ontario, also adding more jobs in the concrete industry.

“While people often think of the jobs associated with building the towers and manufacturing the turbines, there are a number of other industrial sectors that also benefit, the concrete and aggregate industries chief among them,” said NextEra Energy Canada, vice-president of development, Al Wiley.

“The good news is that the concrete required for wind turbines turns into jobs for Ontario residents.”

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA), Ontario has 1,064 turbines installed which produces a total of 2,052 MW of power.

This means more than 370,000 cubic metres of concrete have been poured into Ontario wind farms.

The figures will continue to grow with over 3,3776 MW of wind power still in the works, according to the Ontario Power Authority.

These future wind projects are expected to be up and running by the end of 2015.