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Ontario energy board authorizes construction of transmission line  

Almost two years after the Ontario government announced approval of the Wolfe Island wind power farm, the Ontario Energy Board has authorized construction of a transmission line to connect it to the mainland power grid.

The 86-turbine, 198-megawatt project is being advanced by a subsidiary of Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. (TSX:KHD) on the island about five kilometres south of Kingston in Lake Ontario.

When completed the complex of 125-metre-tall turbines will generate enough electricity to power 75,000 average homes, but it has faced headwinds from residents on the scenic island and from environmentalists fearing for birds, bats and other wildlife.

No construction is likely before next year as a provincial environmental review process has not been completed.

The transmission portion of the development involves 12.1 kilometres of 230,000-volt underground and underwater line and associated facilities.

“After consideration of the evidence, the board found the transmission line to be in the public interest,” the OEB stated Friday.

Wolfe Island was the largest of eight wind farms endorsed by the provincial energy minister in November 2005 as part of the government’s goal to increase the volume of green energy.

All have long-term contracts to sell their output to the Ontario Power Authority at rates far above current market levels.

By The Canadian Press


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