Onshore wind energy in Canada has a history that dates back several decades. But the near future looks even more prosperous: The Canadian Wind Energy Association has set the ambition for 55 GW of wind energy by 2025, with wind energy meeting 20% of Canada’s electricity needs. Meanwhile, Canada’s Premier Tim Houston announced in autumn 2022 that the Canadian province of Nova Scotia will opt to lease 5GW of offshore wind by 2030. In this article, we introduce the three largest operational (or soon to become operational) onshore wind farms in Canada, as of July 2023.
1) Buffalo Plains Wind Farm in Alberta
The Buffalo Plains Wind Farm is the largest single-phase wind farm in Canada. German developer ABO Wind conducted early development of Canada’s largest wind farm. Located in Alberta, the 514.6MW Buffalo Plains project will comprise 83 turbines, each having a capacity of 6.2MW. The estimated project development cost is $500 million. Upon reaching ready-to-build status in July 2022, ABO WIND sold the project to Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). The wind farm will be built on an area of 17,500 acres of privately owned farmland near Lomond, Alberta. It is scheduled to become operational in 2023.
Location: near Lomond, Alberta
Developer: ABO Wind
Owner/Investor: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
2) Wind farm Seigneurie de Beaupré in Quebec
The Seigneurie de Beaupré wind farm is located between Beaupré and Baie-Saint-Paul in Quebec. It was commissioned in 2013. In October 2015, it was expanded from a capacity of 340MW to 363.5MW. The farm is owned by Canada-based Boralex (50% stake), Gaz Métro (46.8%) and La Côte-de-Beaupré (3.2%).
Location: between Beaupré and Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
Owner: Boralex, Gaz Métro
3) Riviere du Moulin onshore wind farm
The Riviere du Moulin wind farm is located in Lac-Pikauba and Lac-Ministuk. It was developed in two phases, with a capacity of 150MW and 200MW. The project was completed in 2015 and at that time, Riviere du Moulin was the largest wind farm in Canada. Paris-based developer EDF sold a 42.5% stake in the wind project to DIM WIND LP and iA Financial Group, but EDF will keep the remaining 57.5% stake in the wind farm. The farm comprises 175 turbines which produce enough electricity to cover consumption of about 77,700 local homes. Its output is sold under a single 20-year power purchase agreement with Hydro-Quebec Distribution.
Location: Lac-Pikauba and Lac-Ministuk, Quebec province
Owner: EDF, DIM WIND LP and iA Financial Group
Image: Karsten Würth via Unsplash (26.07.2023)