Wind Resource Assessment
All regions in Canada are aware of the sizeable economic, social and developmental potential of their wind energy resource. Knowing how best to utilize that resource depends on a good knowledge of its size and location. A large number of studies have been carried out nationwide and this page endeavors to provide links to those studies.
Nationwide - The Canadian Wind Energy Atlas. Details »
The Yukon. Details »
Northwest Territories. Details »
Ontario - The Ontario Wind Resource Atlas. Details »
Quebec - Étude sur l'évaluation du potential éolien. Details »
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island - The PEI Wind Atlas. Details »
New Brunswick - The Wind Resource Map of New Brunswick. Details »
Nova Scotia Details »
The Canadian Wind Energy Atlas is a contribution from EOLE, a research project hosted by Environment Canada (RPN) and initiated in year 2000. Most of the results are based on WEST (Wind Energy Simulation Toolkit), a system developed for the project
Environment Canada's Wind Energy Atlas web site aims to assist in the development of new meteorological tools in the wind energy industry. It offers the possibility to browse through the results of the numerical simulations that were run for all of Canada in order to determine its wind energy potential at a variety of theoretical hub heights. Consultants and the general public will find here valuable data about this promising renewable energy resource.
This site features color maps representing the average wind velocity and power on the whole country, as well as related characteristics, all of which are available in an easy-to-use interface that allows the user to go quickly to the heart of the meteorological data.
Also offered is an overview of the methodology used to generate the different simulation maps, and a download section where data files may be obtained for custom simulations.
Canadian wind energy atlas web site [Details »]
There is some general information on wind energy on the web site of the Yukon Government that has a number of references as well as a link to a useful wind resource 'overview' paper written in 2001.
There is also a wind resource map which has been prepared by the Yukon Government and which shows wind speeds at varying elevations.
As far as we are able to ascertain there is no publicly available wind map for the Northwest Territories (NWT) other than the low resolution material available from the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas.
Nonetheless the NWT government (The Department for Industry, Tourism and Natural Resources) has undertaken some work looking into the wind resource in the region. This information is available as two reports on the NWT's web site.
in the first report (Feb 2007) the Aurora Research Institute analyzed wind regimes in four Beaufort Sea Communities, Inuvik and Yellowknife.
In the second report (Sep 2006) a consultant was retained to look at wind speeds in the Yellowknife area.
Both reports are available from the NWT government's web site [Details »]
As far as we are able to ascertain there is no publicly available wind map of Quebec other than the low resolution material available from the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas.
Nonetheless in April 2004 Helimax submitted to the Régie de l’énergie du Québec (Quebec Energy Board) a report describing Quebec's energy potential.
The report is available in French only and, while there is no map contained within it, there is a useful table (Table 3.6) on page 27 which shows average wind speeds for the 17 administrative regions of Quebec as well as transport restrictions and how those impact on the available wind resource. The report concludes, after taking into account transport constraints, that there is a 'very good' resource for an installed capacity of 97.5 GW and an 'excellent resource' for 3.8 GW.
Download Quebec wind resource report [940 kB]
The Ontario Wind Resource Atlas allows users to view color-coded maps of numerous wind statistics for any one-square-kilometre area in the province.
This mapping tool illustrates Ontario's wind energy potential and is intended to help identify promising sites for future wind energy development.
The atlas contains average wind speeds, average power densities, wind roses, diurnal, monthly and inter annual variations as well as monthly extreme variations.
Ontario wind resource atlas web site [Details »]
Prince Edward Island
Using the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas as input meteorological data and integrating information for topography and land use, the WAsP model was used to obtain wind resource maps (@ 30 m, 50 m, 80 m agl) at a resolution of 200 m for the province of Prince Edward Island.
Validation of the results from the model was made using the met tower data of the PEI Wind Assessment Project and with a control group composed of persons with an extensive knowledge of the environment of PEI.
This research work was done by a research group of the Environment Program at the Université de Moncton, namely Nicolas Gasset, Professor Yves Gagnon and Gérard J. Poitras, who wish to acknowledge the contributions of Carl Brothers of Frontier Power Systems, PEI.
PEI wind energy atlas web site [Details »]
Researchers at the Université de Moncton, led by WEICan Board director, Professor Yves Gagnon, unveiled an updated, high-resolution wind map of New Brunswick.
Prof. Gagnon, quoted in an article in The Globe and Mail said that the new map has 25 times more information than previous versions, with more detail about land features and wind velocity. In particular, the map identifies "exceptional wind potential" along the Acadian Peninsula.
The New Brunswick government has established a renewable energy target for the province that, by 2016, 300 MW of installed power generation capacity will be made up of wind turbines. In May 2007 and in the face of extensive wind farm development activity in the province, the government decided to bring forward the date for achieving the 300 MW target. Instead of 2016 it opted for "as soon as possible".
University of Moncton wind map web site [Details »]
The Noval Scotia government is aiming to ensure that, by 2013, nearly 20% of all Nova Scotia's energy will come from renewable sources such as wind.
At an environmental conference in Halifax, Energy Minister Bill Dooks presented a wind map of the province which is designed to assist the industry and government, in ensuring that the province's ambitious renewable energy targets are met.
Professor Yves Gagnon, of The University of Moncton and also a WEICan Board director, created the wind atlas.
Prof. Gagnon, quoted in an article in The Globe and Mail said that, "Nova Scotia has an exceptional wind regime – one of the best wind regimes in the world".
The may shows wind speeds at three different heights including 30, 50 and 80 metres above ground.
Nova Scotia wind atlas web site [Details »]