New Wind Power Project Officially Opened in Alberta
Acciona Wind Energy Canada Inc, Enbridge Inc, and Suncor Energy Products Inc today celebrated the opening of their newest joint venture wind power project in Alberta, a $60 million, 30-megawatt facility located 20 kilometres southwest of Taber. All figures are in Canadian dollars.
The facility consists of 20 1.5-megawatt turbines. It is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power approximately 14,000 Alberta homes and displace the equivalent of at least 88,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Power generated from the facility is expected to be available to the grid in late October 2006. In the meantime, the companies will focus on safely commissioning each turbine and completing the 20 kilometre transmission line. Once in full service, Acciona will operate the wind farm.
Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity in the world and the companies are working toward being leaders in Canadian wind power - a clean and renewable energy source that does not produce any air pollution, and has minimal impact on the environment. Benefits to the local community also extend to the economy. The project began in September 2005, creating employment for approximately 160 local people during the construction phase.
Members of Alberta's Legislative Assembly, Leonard Mitzel for Cypress-Medicine Hat and Paul Hinman for Cardston-Taber-Warner, joined company executives and guests to officially mark the completion of the facility known as the Chin Chute Wind Power Project, named after the Chin Lakes and Chin Coulee.
"The opening of the Chin Chute Wind Power Project increases and consolidates Acciona's presence in Canada, where we already have a wind farm in operation in Alberta. This is an excellent partnership, one in which we continue our efforts in new projects, all at different stages of development. We are honoured to have the opportunity to expand zero-emission electricity generation through renewable energies, and to cooperate with the authorities and businesses in expanding initiatives that address climate change," said Peter Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America.
"Wind power projects like Chin Chute further position Enbridge to become a significant player in developing the fastest growing sector of electricity generation in North America," said Chuck Szmurlo, President, Enbridge Wind Power. "Chin Chute is the third wind project Enbridge has developed in Western Canada and we have already initiated a significantly larger fourth project in Ontario. We have recently announced a planned transfer of these first three completed Western Canadian projects to our sponsored investment, Enbridge Income Fund and these projects, together with our proposed Ontario project, represent a serious investment by Enbridge and the Fund in a sustainable energy future. Developing Chin Chute and our other wind power projects is consistent with our commitment to sound environmental stewardship."
Suncor Energy's Executive Vice President of Natural Gas & Renewable Energy Dave Byler added, "Today Suncor embarks on its third wind farm. We remain committed to bringing to market renewable energy that is economically viable and produces minimal effect on the environment. This is an exciting milestone for Suncor, and for Alberta."
The project companies have applied for funding under the Canadian government's Wind Power Production Incentive, which supports wind power development in Canada.
The companies also announced a joint $30,000 gift to the Municipal District of Taber in recognition of their support for the wind power project. The money will go toward the MD's park enhancement fundraising effort, specifically towards a new amphitheatre, stage area, lighting structure and sound/projection booth.
Acciona, Enbridge and Suncor own the 30-megawatt Magrath Wind Power Project in southern Alberta, which was commissioned in 2004 and is now operated by Acciona. Enbridge and Suncor also own the 11-megawatt SunBridge project near Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, which Enbridge operates.
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