Two years ago, David Martin from West Man Wind Power and Gale Force Energy proposed a wind farm in the Coldwell area. Since then, there has been little word on progress of the project. Coldwell invited Martin to update them on where the project stands.
“Over the last 18 months, we have been busy signing up a number of landowners in the area,” said Martin. “The province has made a commitment to the industry to expand into wind power and that has taken time.”
Martin said the organization has targeted eight sites in the province with three of those sites north of the Number 1 Highway. West Man has been gathering data from a wind turbine test tower at Oak Point over the last 18 months which suggests that the area is ideal for a wind farm.
Recently the Manitoba Government announced its intention to develop 1,000 megawatts of power within the province. Companies interested in initiating projects are waiting on government to choose which projects get the green light. But the process is taking longer than expected.
Martin said that landowner agreements may need to be extended due to the delay. With competing companies ready to develop projects, Martin also stated that, politically, the government can’t award contracts to only one company.
The province could stand to gain a lot from the wind industry as there has been an expressed interest in a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Manitoba. This would go hand-in-hand with the development of courses at ]universities and community colleges to train technicians to fill the new positions.
“This will definitely be good for Manitoba,” Martin said of the potential. “We are expecting a press release Dec. 3 announcing the next phase of the province’s wind strategy.”
By Cindy McKay
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