Canada has only begun to scratch the surface of its vast and untapped wind and solar energy resources, but it is already one of the world’s largest producers of wind and solar energy. At the end of 2021, we had approximately 14,304 MW of installed wind energy capacity and 2,399 MW of major solar energy capacity. Canada ranked 9th in the world for installed wind energy capacity and 22nd in the world for installed solar energy capacity at the end of 2020.
View a list of Canada’s commercial scale wind energy sites plus solar energy and energy storage projects over one MW in size.
The growth in Canada’s installed wind and solar energy capacity has been rapid. Between 2009 and 2018, wind and solar energy accounted for 68% of new generation capacity additions in Canada making these resources the dominant form of new capacity installed in Canada. As a result, while these technologies met less than 1% of Canada’s electricity demand in 2009, they met approximately 6.5% of Canada’s electricity demand in 2020.
Most of Canada’s wind and solar energy capacity has been deployed through large wind and solar farms that provide electricity to the grid, but energy consumers are increasingly building these energy sources on site to meet their own needs. Indeed, about a third of Canada’s installed solar energy capacity at the end of 2020 was less than 1 MW in size with many installations at a growing number of homes, businesses and institutions across Canada.
Canada’s installed wind and solar energy capacity are projected to continue to grow significantly. Combining these energy sources with Canada’s hydroelectric resources and a range of rapidly growing energy storage technologies will enable variable wind and solar energy production to reach much higher penetration levels in the electricity grid.
In 2021, Canada had over 50 energy storage projects representing a broad range of technologies including lithium-ion batteries, chemical flow batteries, compressed air energy storage, flywheels, hydrogen storage coupled with fuel cells, and thermal energy storage. Today’s renewable energy and storage technologies provide a diverse set of capabilities from supporting remote off-grid communities to enhanced neighbourhood resilience to grid-stabilizing utility scale projects.
The highest concentration of storage facilities is in Ontario. Currently, the capabilities of the Sir Adam Beck pumped storage facility at Niagara Falls holds the highest capacity for energy storage in the country. Excluding this one-of-a-kind resource, Canada’s utility scale, rechargeable energy storage capacity is estimated at over 160 MW AC.
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