For many Canadians, the craggy sea cliffs at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River is a place that harkens back to the days of Jacques Cartier. In our early history, the waterway symbolized opportunity, trade and economic growth for our burgeoning country.
Today, the Gaspé Peninsula plays a role in a new kind of frontier for Canada. It is home to one of the country’s largest wind farms.
Quebec’s Cartier Wind Energy farms use cutting-edge technology to produce a combined capacity of over 550 megawatts (MW) in renewable energy – enough to power more than 160,000 Canadian homes each year. The project is one of many stemming from the more than $5 billion TransCanada has invested in emission-less energy sources.
Investing in emission-less energy sources
Most Canadians know about TransCanada’s role in the safe and reliable development of pipelines for the past 60 years. But our company is about more than pipelines. In fact, pipelines represent only a fraction of our business.
We also own 19 power generation facilities across North America that can generate enough to supply 11 million homes. Two-thirds of the power we produce comes from low and non-emitting sources that include natural gas-fired generation, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar.
Energy independence: the big picture
Why do we do this? Because we support North America’s transition to a balanced energy mix and we strongly believe that both renewable and fossil sources will be needed to meet our country’s growing demand and maintain the lifestyle that many of us take for granted.
Building a balanced energy mix today will contribute to Canada’s energy independence tomorrow.
Right now Canada spends billions of dollars importing 600,000 barrels of oil every day from countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Angola. This means we are getting oil from countries without the same regulatory standards or environmental rules as Canada. And we’re paying a premium for it. All while we have a host of ways to develop energy sources in our own backyard.
Over the past several years, TransCanada has made significant investments in alternative energy facilities.
A few examples:
- The Portlands Energy Centre is a high efficiency, combined cycle natural gas generation plant located in Toronto, Ontario. The facility has enough capacity to supply a quarter of the city’s electricity needs.
- Over $450 million has been invested into Canadian Solar Solutions. The solar energy produced annually by the Brockville plant in Ontario equals the amount of carbon released by 1,341 vehicles on the road.
- In addition to Quebec’s Cartier Wind Energy, we have invested in the largest wind farm in New England and 13 hydro power facilities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.
- We are a partner in Bruce Power, Canada’s first private nuclear generator that currently produces 6,200 MW of emission-free electricity in Ontario.
Where Energy East fits in
As the world transitions to a less-carbon intensive energy future, the demand for oil will continue to grow, driven by increasing population in developing economies that strive to obtain a lifestyle for their families similar to what we enjoy here in Canada.
Energy East is a 4,500-kilometre pipeline that would safely transport oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada. We expect that the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions arising from the transport of oil from Alberta to Eastern Canada will be less by pipeline than by rail. This is because much of the energy needed to move the oil by pipeline will come from low or emissions-less electricity sources, whereas rail transport is based on diesel.
This is just one part of the equation in our mandate to develop a diverse and responsible portfolio of energy sources that will help us meet future demand.
At TransCanada, we want to be part of the solution and we believe Energy East is a better and safer option that will help meet our shared goal of managing greenhouse gas emissions while safely delivering the oil that millions of Canadian need in their everyday lives.