Wind Projects in Manitoba Gain $1.5 Billion

Westman Wind Power Company is developing eight wind power projects in Manitoba, with an initial capacity of approximately 700 MW and a potential maximum capacity of more than 1,400 MW. The total value of the projects is approximately $1.5 billion. Westman is developing the projects with technical support and assistance from Wardrop Engineering, one of the largest engineering firms based in Manitoba, and two other wind power developers, Padoma Wind Power and Gale Force Energy (GFE).

“We are thrilled that Wardrop, one of the premier engineering firms in Canada, has agreed to contribute their technical and wind power expertise to our projects,” says David Martin, a Westman partner who has been working with Manitoba farmers for more than 20 years. “We also benefit greatly by having Padoma and GFE as part of our team. Our vision is for Manitoba to become a center of excellence in wind power, so other provinces and countries can look to us for expertise.” Westman, a Manitoba wind power developer based in Winnipeg, was formed in 2004 to develop wind projects within the province while also maximizing the economic, environmental and social benefits to Manitobans. “Wind is the fastest growing source of power generation in the world,” said Paul Edwards, a Westman partner and Winnipeg lawyer, “and we think Manitoba can be a world leader in the development of wind power.” In selecting site locations, the Westman team relied on Helimax Energy, a wind energy consultant. Helimax used historical weather data and computer-based modeling to determine the windiest spots in the province. Financing to develop the wind farm projects is being arranged by CFI Group. “CFI has obtained significant funding commitments from the investors in its equity fund, including Manitoba Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, for the purpose of investing in energy and infrastructure projects across Canada,” said Chris Ball, Executive Vice-President of CFI Group. Five of Westman’s projects are located on private land, with negotiations under way on land use agreements for more than 50,000 acres of land. Wind-monitoring programs have commenced on all of the sites and will continue for another year and a half. Westman has filed applications to use more than 20,000 acres of Crown Land for two further projects; negotiations are ongoing for the final project in the Churchill area.
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