The wind turbines could be turning at Point Petre in three years.
Canadian Hydro was awarded a pair of 20-year contracts last week to supply 18 MW of power annually from the Royal Road Wind Project.
Canadian Hydro acquired the project after purchasing Vector Wind Energy Inc. for $5.5 million in 2006. The project was started in 2001 by Vision Quest Windelectric Inc., another Calgary-based power company.
While original plans called for as many as 32 turbines, Canadian Hydro plans to erect twelve 1.5 MW windmills and the necessary infrastructure.
Royal Road will generate an estimated 47,300 megawatt hours per year of renewable energy – enough to power approximately 4,700 average Ontario households.
The project is expected to cost $40 million.
Canadian Hydro CEO John Keating said the contracts will help advance the project.
“It’s another step in the right direction in getting this project done,” he said. “We purchased Vector last year and they had a number of prospects but Royal Road really stuck out and to us, was one that needed to be carried forward.”
Keating said much of the preliminary work for the project has already been completed and is confident his company will be delivering power by August, 2010.
“Vision Quest did much of the preliminary work, in fact they advanced the project along significantly,” Keating explained. “We won’t be sitting idle and the environmental assessment process has yet to be completed, so we will be looking to advance things there.” Canadian Hydro is a developer, owner, and operator of 19 power generation facilities totaling net 265 MW of capacity in operation and has an additional 403 MW nearing construction. The renewable generation portfolio is diversified across three technologies (water, wind, and biomass) in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.
Canadian Hydro is expected to break ground on Wolfe Island this year, erecting enough turbines to generate an estimated 537,000 MWh per year.
Keating said the company has not yet set a construction date for the Royal Road project, adding the number of turbines could change with technological advances.
“Right now the plan is for twelve 1.5 MW turbines but that could change if there are advances in the technology,” he said. “It may turn out to be nine, 2 MW turbines.”
By Bruce Bell
20 August 2007
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