The contribution Lake Erie winds make to Ontario’s green electricity generation is about to increase.
AIM PowerGen plans on erecting 12 additional turbines in the southwest corner of Norfolk County. To be erected in two clusters of six, the Cultus and Frogmore groups as AIM refers to them, will connect into the provincial electrical grid near the two villages. Total electrical output is expected to be between 18 and 20 megawatts.
The Cultus turbines will be located east and west of Reg. Rd. 23 between Concession A and Lower Side Road. The Frogmore group will be in the area near the intersection of the 7th Conc. and Reg. Rd. 23.
AIM was the developer of the Erie Shores Wind Farm, which generates 99 Megawatts of power and was Ontario’s largest wind farm at the time of its opening. As part of the financing for the project, ownership was transferred to the Clean Power Income Fund.
Sites for the new turbines had the necessary county official plans and zoning amendments approved previously as part of the development of the Erie Shores Wind Farm. Environmental assessments and other necessary approvals for the sites were also previously approved.
Operation of the new turbines would be done under what is known as a standard offer contract.
“These are limited projects, usually 10 or slightly more megawatts,” said Jim Wilgar, a consultant with AIM PowerGen. “And in our case, we are utilizing land Norfolk County already included in their official plan amendments and that have zoning approvals.”
The size and manufacturer of the turbines in the Cultus and Frogmore groups is still under discussion, but Wilgar expected the wind generators to be similar to the 1.5-megawatt GE towers used in the Erie Shore initiative. Each 1.5-megawatt turbine generates enough capacity for 700 homes when operating at full output.
The 12 new turbines are being developed entirely by AIM. Britain’s Renewable Energy Generation (REG) bought AIM last summer. The British company will provide financing to construct the turbines and associated infrastructure, while AIM will look after construction and development issues.
Target date for construction to start is late next summer. Power generation is expected to begin in spring 2008.
AIM is also working on the second phase of the Erie Shores Wind Farm. Many of the properties originally optioned, plus some new property where landowners signed options, are being looked at to add another 51 megawatts. The infrastructure of Erie Shores was built to handle 150 megawatts, but the first part of the development was only 99 megawatts.
Erie Shores was built through a request for proposal process through a provincial government initiative to develop green power. A similar process, or other options, will be looked at for funding the second phase.
By Jeff Helsdon Staff Writer
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