The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) released the results of polling conducted by Saskatoon-based Insightrix Research at an industry event held in Regina yesterday. The province-wide representative poll showed overwhelming support for the development of wind energy with 84 percent of respondents supporting policies that encourage the development of wind energy in Saskatchewan and 78 percent supporting the development of wind farms near their communities.
“We’re pleased to see the exceptional level of support for wind energy in Saskatchewan. The wind energy industry is continuously looking to improve and strengthen the ways it consults and engages with residents, local businesses, municipalities and Indigenous communities,” said Robert Hornung, President, CanWEA.
The polling follows recent announcements that the province will be adding two wind energy projects that together will add nearly 400 MW of wind energy capacity to its grid in the near-term. In September, the Ministry of Environment approved the 177 MW Blue Hill Wind Energy Project and in October, SaskPower announced that it had signed a power purchase agreement with Potentia Renewables for its 200 MW Golden South Wind Energy Facility. Both facilities are expected to be operational in 2021 and will more than double Saskatchewan’s installed wind energy capacity.
A 2016 technical study prepared by GE Energy Consulting with the input of SaskPower and other grid operators in Canada found Saskatchewan’s electricity system could handle twice as much wind energy as it is targeting without compromising grid reliability.