Project Development, Wind Power

Alberta Expands Its Manufacturing Capacity in Wind Energy

Towers for wind turbines will be manufactured in western Canada to meet the growing demand for green power.

CROSSFIELD, Alberta, CA, 2001-06-13 [SolarAccess.com] Towers for wind turbines will be manufactured in western Canada to meet the growing demand for green power. RNG Pro-Tech Inc. will produce a slender steel tower that stands 50 m (16 storeys) tall and is custom-built to support the 660 kW wind turbines from Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark. The turbines are used by Vision Quest Windelectric at its Castle River windfarm near Pincher Creek, Alberta. “RNG Pro-Tech’s forward thinking and ‘let’s make it happen’ attitude in all of our employees has resulted in the continued growth of our company through new product lines such as wind turbine towers,” explains vice president Tony Giasson. “Over the past four months, the wind turbine towers alone have created 20 new permanent positions in our Crossfield facility, and we expect more new positions to be created as the demand for more wind turbines increases.” Until now, wind energy producers in Alberta have been forced to import almost all of the equipment needed to install wind turbines to supply the province’s growing demand for green power. The new tower facility was opened today by Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development Mark Norris. “We have been working hard for years to initiate Canadian manufacturing in this sector,” says Jason Edworthy of Vision Quest. “This step is a huge one on the path toward full domestic wind turbine manufacturing capability.” Vision Quest will install 12 turbines to meet demand from ENMAX Energy’s Greenmax program. The anticipated demand is the result of increased customer participation in green power offerings, as well as the Ride the Wind!™ program of Calgary Transit, which will use the Greenmax program to operate the city’s Light Rail transit system. Calgary will be the first city in North America to support zero-emissions electricity for a portion of its transit system. “As the first Canadian company to offer our customers the opportunity to support renewable wind-generated energy, we’re proud of our leadership role in the growth and development of alternative sources of energy in Alberta,” says Sean Durfy, chief operating officer of ENMAX Energy. “Through Greenmax, residential and commercial customers, such as Calgary Transit, are able to support clean, emissions-free electricity.” In addition to its Crossfield plant, RNG Pro-Tech operates from manufacturing facilities in Lennoxville and Sherbrooke, Quebec, with total production capacity of 244,000 ft2. “Wind-generated electricity has no air emissions such as those which contribute to smog or global climate change, the facilities can be installed very quickly, and the industry is making significant contributions to rural employment and taxes,” adds Edworthy. “We at Vision Quest are very excited about being able to obtain the towers that we need right now and into the future, right here in Alberta.” Canada’s largest non-regulated electric utility, TransAlta, supports wind power and has invested $10 million in Vision Quest in the past two years. The Calgary-based company has signed a contract to switch its corporate head office to wind power. RNG Pro-Tech produces equipment for the oil and gas industry, and has invested $3 million over the past year to upgrade its facilities to supply the power generation industry. The first tower will be delivered to Vision Quest in June, and will be installed in July. Vision Quest is a private company based in Calgary that owns 27 wind turbines and has site control over 50,000 acres with the potential to generate 750 MW of wind energy. ENMAX is a subsidiary of the City of Calgary, and provides electricity to 400,000 residential and commercial customers in Calgary, Lethbridge and Red Deer. Vestas is the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines, with production facilities in Denmark, Germany, India, Spain and Italy.