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Global Wind Day: Celebrating clean energy, new jobs, and a brighter future

Global_Wind_Day Wind is providing clean, affordable and safe energy in every Canadian province, enough to power more than 1.2 million homes

On June 15, thousands of people in more than 30 countries around the world will hold events to celebrate wind energy and its environmental, social and economic benefits during the third annual Global Wind Day. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and DMI Industries are teaming up to celebrate with a tour of DMI’s Fort Erie manufacturing plant and the Mohawk Point Wind Farm in southern Ontario.

“We have much to celebrate in Canada as 2011 is expected to be a record year for wind energy development, with 586 MW already added to the grid,” said Robert Hornung, President, CanWEA. “Canada is blessed with one of the world’s best wind resources. Realizing our potential to have 20 per cent of Canada’s electricity demand met by wind energy by 2025 would result in $79 billion of investments, 52,000 high quality, full-time jobs and bring $165 million in annual revenues to municipalities.

Canada’s wind energy industry took another step forward in 2010 with the addition of 690 MW of installed wind energy capacity, positioning Canada in 9th place globally in terms of new installed capacity and 9th for overall cumulative installed capacity. Currently 4,588 MW of electricity is generated by wind in Canada, which is enough to power more than 1.2 million homes with clean, emissions-free energy. Wind energy is also re-invigorating the country’s manufacturing sector, creating jobs for skilled workers, and attracting investment to rural areas.

DMI is celebrating the 5th anniversary of opening its Ontario facility, the longest serving manufacturer to the wind energy supply chain in Ontario and a pioneer for the industry. Today, the DMI facility employs 180 individuals in various manufacturing positions and has an extensive supply chain with local vendors that provide a number of the components and consumables used in production.

“This month DMI Industries reached a five year milestone at our Fort Erie plant,” said Stefan Nilsson, President, DMI. “As an early entrant in the supply chain, DMI has faced challenging years with fluctuating policy support for wind energy development. While we believe there is great potential for our industry in terms of job growth and energy diversity, we realize success depends on long-term favourable policy for wind energy in both the United States and Canada.”

Wind energy has increased almost ten-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impacts of electricity generation, and stimulate rural and industrial economic development. Ontario is the current provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity accounting for 1,636 MW of wind energy development. Alberta and Quebec follow at 807 MW and 663MW respectively and Canada’s remaining seven provinces together account for the remaining one-third.