The renewable energy subsidiary of the Italian energy company Enel may develop a major wind energy development in Newfoundland.
ROME, Italy, IT, 2001-05-03 <SolarAccess.com> The provincial power utility, Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro, selected the NeWind Group to undertake a wind energy demonstration project last month. The consortium includes two local companies, fga Consulting Engineers and Quadratec, as well as CHI Hydroelectric Company Inc., a subsidiary of ERGA. Erga S.p.A was set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enel in 1999, and is involved in wind project assessment and development. Ten companies bid to undertake the work. “This project is designed to determine if the wind potential in Newfoundland and Labrador may be used to our advantage through the generation of electricity,” says Energy minister Lloyd Matthews. “This green, environmentally friendly energy source is used extensively throughout the world and has the potential to be very successful in our coastal climate. We hope that wind generation will be added to our list of future energy sources.” Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro is the fourth largest utility in Canada, with 5,400 MW of capacity at Churchill Falls. The utility issued a RFP last December to undertake a feasibility study and site assessment to determine if wind generation is feasible in the province. The second stage will involve a wind farm of 5 to 25 MW in size, which would the first wind generation facility on the island of Newfoundland. Hydro will not invest any capital into the project, and NeWind will recover its costs through the sale of electricity as the demonstration project proceeds. Hydro will not guarantee any payments to NeWind, which will accept all the risk. “Utilizing this form of electricity generation in Newfoundland and Labrador has been made possible by new technologies which have lowered costs,” explains Matthews. “Wind generation is now considered to be a proven source of renewable energy and is in widespread and rapidly growing use throughout North America and elsewhere.” “This project is considered to be a prudent approach for evaluation of an alternate future energy source,” he adds. “The project will enhance the provincial capability to meet future electricity requirements in a timely and cost effective manner.” “Newfoundland has excellent wind resources, and our technological expertise helps make wind a cost competitive alternative to traditional fuel sources,” says Paolo Pietrogrande, CEO of Erga. “As an environmentally responsible approach to meeting the growing demand for energy in Newfoundland, we expect this project to lead the way toward establishing wind power as a key source of electricity on the island.” “This new opportunity demonstrates the determination of Erga to promote renewable energy on a global scale,” he adds. Erga has 2,300 MW of renewable energy projects in Italy, the U.S. and Canada, and is developing another 800 MW of hydro, geothermal and wind plants. It acquired CHI Energy of Stamford, Connecticut. Enel is the largest traded electric utility in the world with annual revenues of $24 billion and 74,000 employees.