The announcement propels Ontario's total wind capacity to 617.5 megawatts (MW), topping second-place Alberta, which has 545 MW of wind capacity. Quebec is in third place, with 422 MW of capacity. The completion of this second phase - by the end of November, will bring Ontario's total wind capacity to 673 MW.
"Our drive for renewable energy has pushed Ontario from lagging to leading the green energy charge," said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "It's a victory that pays off for all Ontarians by boosting our supply of non-polluting power and it's an even bigger victory for the Melancthon community."
The Melancthon EcoPower Centre is one of three major Ontario-based wind projects scheduled to go online in the coming weeks. Within two months, when the two additional large wind farms begin operation, it will nearly double Ontario's supply of wind power in one year. Ontario started the year with 491 MW of wind power and will end the year with more than 950 MW.
"The foresight of the Ontario government has provided an opportunity for Canadian Hydro Developers, the local townships and the landowners to prosper in a sustainable manner," said John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc., which built and operates the Melancthon EcoPower Centre.
The $409-million centre was built in two phases, with about 250 contract jobs created in each phase. The project will create about 14 full-time jobs.
"Projects like Melancthon II are supporting rural economic development across the province by bringing investment and jobs to Ontario while also producing clean, reliable power," said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
When fully operational, the 133-turbine Melancthon EcoPower Centre will have a total capacity of 199.5 megawatts, enough emissions-free electricity to power more than 52,000 homes. The first phase of the project - a 45-turbine, 67.5-megawatt wind farm - has been operating since March 2006.