Environmental Benefits of 270 MW Wind Energy Compared to Coal-Fired Generation

In 1998, the Ontario Medical Association declared air pollution a public health crisis in Ontario with coal-fired power plants being major contributors to the smog problem. The Province committed to phasing out coal-fired generation in 2002, and the development of wind energy helped Ontario meet that goal in 2014. Today, wind turbines are harnessing the wind across the Province and generating clean, homegrown energy without producing any harmful emissions and without using water to operate.

 

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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reduced
842,000 tonnes/year 
165,000 car equivalent

Water Conserved 
1,937,500,000 liters/year 
enough to supply nearly 24,000 Ontarians/year

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Sulfur Dioxide 
4,000 tonnes/year

Nitrogen Oxides 
1,200 tonnes/year

Mercury 
13 kg/year

Benefits of Wind Energy

  • Is an inexhaustible resource,
  • Reduces reliance on imported fuel,
  • Benefits the environment and helps fight climate change,
  • Is compatible with mixed land use: grazing, agriculture, and hunting,
  • Creates job opportunities in local areas,
  • Provides a steady income to farmers and property-owners,
  • Strengthens the local tax base, helping to improve town services, including schools, police and fire departments,
  • Provides more direct economic impacts than new fossil fuel plants,
  • Produces energy with stable production costs, offering a hedge against other energy sources with volatile fuel markets

 

Sources: Emissions offset calculations use annual electricity production for the South Kent Wind project compared to emission rates from the Nanticoke coal plant as indicated in the Ministry of Energy’s report Coal Fired Electricity Generation in Ontario. Car comparison assumes typical passenger vehicles produce 5.1 metric tons of CO2 per year. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle,” December 2011. Water conserved compared to coal-fired generation assumes 2,048 litres/MWh, source American Wind Energy Association. People supplied figure based on Environment Canada’s 2011 Municipal Water Use Report with 225 litres/day Ontario per capita water consumption.