Is Wind a good economic choice and are subsidies required?

The Burchill Wind project is not relying on any subsidies. It makes good economic sense on its own as wind energy is now the lowest-cost option for new electricity generation in Canada.

The cost of wind energy production is dropping significantly and rapidly and is already one of the least expensive forms of energy production. It is also a technology that needs to be built at scale and is why utilities like ours are often the initiators of wind energy projects.

To get a sense of the rapidly changing economics, start here: currently the average energy costs for Saint John Energy in buying electricity from our sole provider, NB Power, is over $90 per MWh.

To compare that, in December 2017, a competitive electricity-supply auction in Alberta yielded the lowest-ever rate paid for wind energy in the country, a weighted average of $37 per MWh. Similarly, in October 2018, a competitive procurement in Saskatchewan resulted in an average bid price of $42 per MWh, with the winning bid coming in below $35 per megawatt hour.

For more information from CanWEA on the economics of Wind Energy, they have gathered some great information here.

Subsidies are not required to make wind make sense anymore. The selected developer will be announced this summer.