Ontario’s Commercial-scale Wind Project Well Under Way

Ontario is increasing its use of clean, renewable energy with the startup on March 4, 2006, of the 67.5 MW Melancthon I Wind Farm. The $126 million project is one of the first in a number of new wind farms in Ontario that will supply clean renewable energy to the electricity grid.

“Two years ago, Ontario only had 15 megawatts of wind power capacity. The McGuinty government has set the wheels in motion to bring online over 1300 megawatts [MW] of wind power capacity by the end of 2007, an 80-fold increase,” said Energy Minister Donna Cansfield. “The government is continuing to deliver on its promise to support renewable energy as part of its overall plan to build a sustainable energy future for Ontario.” This first phase of the Melancthon I Wind Farm, located in Melancthon Township near Shelburne, is expected to provide enough power for 25,000 homes annually. Phase II of the project will provide an additional 132 MW of power, or enough to power 40,000 homes. The startup of the Melancthon wind farm is one of several wind energy milestones occurring across the province. EPCOR’s Kingsbridge I is a 39.6 MW Wind Power Project near Goderich that has 21 of 22 turbines in place, six of which are online and producing power. In addition, the Clean Power Fund’s 99 MW Erie Shores Wind Farm is nearly half completed on the north shore of Lake Erie where 27 of the project’s 66 turbines have been erected. These three wind farms are some of the 18 new, renewable energy projects the province has supported to date. Combined, these will help Ontario reach its goal of generating five percent of its electricity capacity through renewable generation by 2007 and ten percent by 2010. “We have achieved commercial operation ahead of schedule,” said John Keating, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., about Melancthon I. In his March 21, 2006 statement on the website, Keating wrote, “It takes teamwork and combined passion, commitment, resources, and above all, perseverance from an extended team of stakeholders to move low-impact renewable energy projects forward from concept to completion. These “team players” include Canadian Hydro employees and directors, landowners, the surrounding community, consulting engineers, local contractors, equipment suppliers, as well as ongoing support from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.” The value of the area contracts from more than 25 area companies that were employed getting Melancthon I under way, and referred to as “notable milestones” by Keating, exceeded $15 million. He added that the annual average long-term generation is expected to be approximately 195 gigawatt hour (GWh). “With the Melancthon I Wind Plant now in operation we are continuing to advance the planning and permitting aspects of the Melancthon II Wind Project,” Keating concluded.
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