In 2017, Canada added 341 MW of wind power capacity, bringing the total installed wind power capacity to 12,239 MW. The five-year annual growth rate of wind power capacity is 15%. There are currently 295 wind farms operating across the country, including utility-scale projects in two of the three northern territories.
Canada installed about half as much new capacity in 2017 as in 2016 (341 MW and 681 MW, respectively); this reduction is a result of policy uncertainty in several key regions in Canada, as well as a general slowing of load growth across the country. Wind energy continues to be one of the lowest cost options for new electricity supply in Canada. Despite originally seeking 400 MW of wind, the Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO) entered into contracts for 600 MW of new wind power capacity.
Western Canada continues to have the highest wind energy growth potential in the near term, with an anticipated 6,900 MW of new renewable power capacity by 2030—a significant portion of which is expected to come from wind.
To read more about Canada’s wind energy sector, read their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2017 Annual Report.