The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) announced a leader for a new multi-technology association that will provide a unified voice for solar energy, wind energy and energy storage in Canada. Effective July 1, 2020, the members of CanSIA and CanWEA will unite within the Canadian Renewable Energy Association under the leadership of Robert Hornung, the long-standing president of CanWEA.

Hornung will lead the member-based association in stakeholder advocacy and public engagement focused on ensuring that renewable energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix during this period of historical global transformation.

Hornung has been president of CanWEA for nearly 17 years. During this time he represented the interests of Canada’s wind energy leaders – wind farm owners, operators, project developers, consultants, manufacturers and service providers. Together with members and stakeholders, he helped facilitate wind energy growth in Canada from under 300 megawatts to over 13,000 megawatts of installed capacity through advocacy and engagement efforts.

“The launch of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association is a major step forward toward the realization of more comprehensive energy solutions encompassing wind, solar and energy storage in Canada,” says Michelle Chislett, interim board chair of CREA and managing director of Canada and US development for Northland Power. “It needs a leader with a clear vision of the modern energy system we’re building in Canada, and an understanding of our membership’s unique role in that effort. Robert Hornung brings that to the table, and we look forward to his leadership as our industries join forces in this very exciting new endeavour.”

With a corporate office in Ottawa, the association will have national influence as well as a regional presence in jurisdictions across the country. The association will work to create conditions for a modern energy system that makes significant and positive contributions to Canada’s economy and clean energy future. It will provide forums devoted to dialogue, collaboration and stewardship, and growth of the industry.

“I’m honoured and excited to be leading a new association with a mandate unlike any other. There is a clear public desire to see advancement of the technologies we represent to capture the full promise of a renewable energy future,” says Hornung. “The Canadian Renewable Energy Association is the right vehicle to help make that promise a reality, while delivering great business value to each and every member.”

Wind and solar generation meet an already significant and growing proportion of Canadian electricity demand, with a combined grid-connected installed capacity of more than 16,500 megawatts (MW). Recent power purchase contracts have confirmed that wind and solar energy are cost-competitive with conventional generation, with wind now being the lowest-cost source of new electricity generation in Canada. There is also rapid deployment of these technologies at both residential and commercial scales in Canada. Solar photovoltaic (PV) has been deployed in every province and territory across Canada.

As Canada’s leader in residential and commercial solar installations, Ontario reported a total of 2,673 MW in solar PV installations at the end of 2019. Diverse energy storage projects are playing a growing role in maximizing the contributions of clean generation to grid flexibility and reliability, with more than 20 storage facilities under contract by Ontario’s grid operator alone.

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Featured image courtesy of CanWEA.

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