Canada’s Prairies to Install Large Wind Farm

The first major supply of green power in Saskatchewan will come from a $20 million wind power project that will be constructed in the southwest region of Gull Lake.

REGINA, Saskatchewan, CA, 2001-04-20 <SolarAccess.com> Enbridge Inc and Suncor Energy Inc hope to start construction of the SunBridge Wind Power Project this May, following public consultations and environmental regulatory approvals. The facility should be commissioned by June of next year. The project is designed to meet the goal of the federal government to purchase C$12.4 million of green power over ten years for its facilities in the province. The green power goal was announced in last year’s budget for Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island; the government has a similar purchase program in effect in Alberta. “This initiative will help develop markets for renewable energy like wind power in Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada,” says Energy Minister Ralph Goodale. “Our investment in renewable electricity will help us meet a significant proportion of our energy requirements in a way that is environmentally friendly and consistent with our national action plan on climate change. We are pleased that our contribution is a driving force for the construction of the Gull Lake wind power facility.” “Through SaskPower, the government of Saskatchewan is committed to investing in wind power technology as a safe, renewable energy source,” adds provincial minister Maynard Sonntag. “The SunBridge Wind Power Project is a major first step towards developing a viable and cost-effective green power industry in Saskatchewan.” “Green power will help meet the province’s growing energy needs in an environmentally sustainable manner that does not contribute to climate change,” he adds. “We look forward to additional wind power development that will see the provincial government and other customers meet a portion of our needs with wind-generated electricity.” Suncor and Enbridge were selected to construct and operate the wind power facility. The generation will be sold to the provincial utility, SaskPower. “The federal supply contract represents the single largest purchase of green power the government of Canada has ever made,” explains SaskPower president and CEO John Wright. “As such, it is an important part of our business plan and a reflection of our commitment to further develop green power sources as we balance our customers’ needs for secure and cost-effective supply with a shared concern for the environment.” The 17 turbines will have a capacity of 11 MW and will generate 40 GWh per year. The turbines will be spread over four sections of land to take advantage of the high wind speeds in the area which, combined with proximity to existing transmission lines, was a key factor in the location for the province’s first large-scale wind power project. The windfarm will increase Canada’s generation of electricity from wind by 10 percent and has the potential to expand further as additional market demand develops. SunBridge is part of Suncor’s plan to invest $100 million in alternative and renewable energy projects by 2005. “This is a major step toward building an alternative and renewable energy business that will help to diversify Canada’s sources of energy for the future and give consumers the option to choose renewable energy to meet their energy needs,” says president and CEO Rick George. “This project also fits in with Enbridge’s strategies of investing in emerging energy technologies, and of working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, addressing the issue of global climate change,” adds Enbridge president and CEO Patrick Daniel.

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