A British energy company and a Canadian power utility will develop a wind energy facility near a nuclear reactor in the province of Ontario
LONDON, England, UK, 2001-03-21 <SolarAccess.com> . British Energy (Canada) Ltd and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have formed a joint venture to develop a wind farm near the Bruce nuclear generating facility on Lake Huron, near Kincardine. The new company is called Huron Wind. The venture will have turbines in service by early next year. The total output has not been determined, but it will be at least 10 MW at this stage. “We expect that Ontario electricity customers will be asking for green power as part of their energy mix when the competitive electricity market opens,” says OPG’s chief operating officer Graham Brown. “This wind farm will provide a nice balance to our green power portfolio.” “The intermittent nature of wind energy means that consumers can not yet fully count on wind power like they can on hydro, fossil and nuclear facilities, but this project will make a significant addition to OPG’s existing green power portfolio,” he adds. The facility will be subject to an environmental review. British Energy (Canada) and OPG will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the facility and for marketing the output produced by Huron Wind. OPG currently generates 138 MW of green power from run-of-river hydroelectric plants, landfill biogas, wind energy and small solar PV sites. The company has a commitment to increase this output to 500 MW by 2005. “British Energy sees Canada as a platform for growth and is delighted to be making another investment in Ontario’s electricity sector,” says Robin Jeffrey. “Huron Wind will provide an important source of emission-free power for Ontario consumers, backed by the reliability of conventional production sources.” “Huron Wind is seen to be the starting point in a potential portfolio of joint projects between British Energy (Canada) and OPG,” he adds. “We will pursue further opportunities to develop renewable energy resources as Ontario’s energy marketplace continues to move towards deregulation to provide consumers with competitively priced sources of energy.” There is strong community interest and support for the wind farm, according to Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer. “Canada’s commercial nuclear power industry began here more than 40 years ago and has a valued connection with this community; efficiently producing clean electricity, without smog emissions,” he says. “It’s exciting to now welcome commercial wind power to the community as it begins to make its mark as a clean generation source with a bright future.” The wind farm will use the experience gained from OPG’s 600 kW turbine that has been in operation since 1995 on the same site, which is one of the most promising in the province with conditions that allow the wind farm to operate at 30 percent capacity factor. “We estimate there will be 500 MW of wind generation installed in Canada by the end of 2002 and 10,000 MW by 2010, so naturally we are delighted to see Ontario join the Canadian wind farm club,” says Jim Salmon of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. Installations of utility-scale wind generation are gradually accelerating in Canada with sites in Quebec, Alberta and the Yukon. “Facilities such as this one confirm wind’s cost competitiveness and stand as proof that wind generation has a significant role to play in supplying clean energy to Ontario and Canada’s consumers,” he adds. “We strongly support initiatives of this kind and hope to see more in the future,” says local politician Ted Arnott, who is Parliamentary Assistant to the provincial minister of the environment. He explained that wind farms could play an important role in Ontario’s ongoing effort to reduce harmful emissions. OPG was part of Ontario Hydro until the provincial utility was restructured pending the transition of deregulation. It generates power and sells electricity in Ontario and across the continent. British Energy is the largest electricity generating company in the U.K. and its subsidiary, British Energy (Canada) Ltd., is the majority partner in Bruce Power LP. That company will lease the Bruce nuclear reactor from OPG for $3.2 billion. British Energy recently formed a joint venture to develop offshore wind generation in Britain with Renewable Energy Systems Ltd.