Suncor Energy and Acciona Energy have started preliminary tests on a possible wind farm site southeast of Tiverton.
Suncor spokesperson Coral Hulse says the Calgary-based companies are carrying out wind consistency tests and other preliminary actions but are at least a year away from making a final decision on whether the project would go ahead.
Hulse says Suncor met with two local groups in November, the Kincardine Economomic Development Planning Committee and the Bruce County Planning and Economic Planning Department, to update the town and the county on possible future projects in the area.
She says things are at a very preliminary stage but Suncor and Acciona have established a new meteorological tower to collect wind data on the Slade Development property and are optioning land in the area southeast of Tiverton.
Hulse says the proposed project is in the so-called “Orange Zone” which means that, at least for now, there are transmission constraints in place and, until additional transmission capacity is built, no new projects will be built in the area.
She says they expect there may be some developments on this with the Ontario government sometime in the New Year.
Hulse says, in the meantime – building on the good relationships they established during the nearby Ripley project – they will be working with stakeholder groups to make sure both municipal officials and residents in the community are comfortable with the project and understand what Suncor might want to do in the future.
Hulse says the new wind test tower was built in November and wind data collection will take a minimum of about a year and could take up to two or three years to complete.
As a result, she says, it would be at least a year before Suncor is anywhere near a position to make a decision on going ahead with the project.
She says, depending on developments in the new year with the Ontario government, the project could be as large as Ripley – 76 megawatts-38 turbines – or limited to a 10 megawatt project involving five turbines.
About two months ago – Suncor and Acciona officially opened their 176-million-dollar, 38-turbine, 76-megawatt Ripley Wind Power joint venture southeast of Kincardine.
Written by Ken Cassavoy
3 December 2007
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