by Tina Olivero

    Wind Energy in Canada’s future energy mix

    Vaisala is a global leader in environmental industrial measurement that offers dedicated renewable energy consulting and information services.

    The company has unmatched expertise in supporting large-scale integration studies, and is a recognized industry leader in applying weather simulation modeling to accurately predict wind power production over large geographic areas and long-term climatological windows. 

    The largest variable impacting electricity generation, transmission, and demand is weather and Vaisala has developed wind production profiles based on wind speed data provided by Environment Canada, allowing the project team to build and model a number of different wind penetration scenarios.

    Wind Energy

    Summary of System Load and Generation by Province for Study Scenarios.

    Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study

    Vaisala released detailed findings from the groundbreaking Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study (PCWIS) which was co-funded by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

    Robert Hornung, CanWEA President says “With an already strong base of operational wind farms that place Canada seventh in the world for installed capacity, Canada’s outstanding wind resources provide an opportunity to significantly multiply its wind power output over the next 15 years, Wind energy can play a significant role in a shift towards a low carbon economy that will reduce Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels in a number of sectors, including energy and transportation.”

    CanWEA’s study is the first of its kind to cover the whole of Canada and makes use of Vaisala’s wind modeling expertise to investigate and quantify the operational impact of integrating large quantities of wind energy into the grid. The study analyzed 20% and 35% system total scenarios and ultimately found that Canada can integrate large amounts of wind energy both reliably and cost-effectively.

    Wind Energy

    Locations of wind plants in study scenario’s across Canada.

     Wind Forecasting

    The study identified the influences of wind energy on system operations and evaluate options, such as advanced wind forecasting and more flexible dispatching of other generation resources, to mitigate any challenges to reliability. The study analyzed 20% and 35% system total scenarios and ultimately found that Canada can integrate large amounts of wind energy both reliably and cost-effectively.

    “North America has excellent wind resources, and wind energy’s installed cost is becoming increasingly competitive,” added Hornung. “What is crucial is to ensure reliable grid operation as large amounts of wind energy are brought online. Efficiently and reliably making the transition to wind energy requires identifying how infrastructure and markets must adapt to accommodate its generation on a grand scale. The PWCIS provides a deeper understanding of the management of wind resource variability from a national and cross-border perspective.” 

    “For a study of this complexity, we were pleased to work with CanWEA and Vaisala, both recognized leaders in the global wind energy industry,” said Bahman Daryanian, the study’s technical director and project manager, and also Technical Director for GE’s Energy Consulting business. “By combining the expertise of Vaisala with CanWEA’s knowledge of wind power and Canadian energy markets, this study paves the way to a greater understanding of the role wind energy can play in Canada’s future energy mix.


    Tina Olivero

    Tina Olivero

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