Another wind energy company is looking at developing a wind farm in the Medicine Hat area that could be producing 120 megawatts of electricity by late 2009.
The Calgary-based company, Pteragen Canada Inc.’s proposed Peace Butte Wind Power Project would be located 22 km due south of the city and be intersected by the Black and White Trail.
According to the company’s vice president for Western Canada, Carlo Plava, the project – if eventually approved by the federal and provincial governments – would consist of up to 80 wind turbines and towers with a total generating power of 120 megawatts – enough to power up to 39,000 homes annually.
“We’re still in the development stages at this point, and with close to a year-and-a-half of wind data collected, we’re convinced there’s a good wind resource there,” he told the News in an interview Friday.
“Our biggest hurdle right now is getting our environmental assessment component completed, which is possibly going to be done here in the fall. Then there’s a regulatory process we have to go through and the foundations could probably be built in the summer of 2009.”
Pteragen already has 9,000 acres under lease from local land owners in the area.
Plava said a major plus for the project is the less than one km of transmission line to interconnect the project to an existing transmission line from the Alberta Electrical Grid that is within the boundary of the project’s leased lands.
The company is holding an information open house at the Seven Persons Community Hall this Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for people to learn more about the proposed project.
Plava said he’s expecting less resistance for the project than did the previously proposed Wild Rose Wind Farm, which encountered opposition from environmentalist concerned about the impact on the Cypress Hills Fringe Area and the impact on view sites in the hills.
“Ours is generally a pretty benign impact on leased land which is primarily agricultural and grazing land,” added.
In addition to Western Canada, Pteragen is active in Ontario through its wholly-owned subsidiary Canadian Shield Wind Power Inc.
The Peace Butte Wind Power Project joins two proposed Wild Rose Wind Farms and a possible wind farm in the Box Springs Road area that the City of Medicine Hat is currently exploring.
The Wild Rose project was initiated about four years ago by a Medicine Hat-based wind energy company. West WindEau Inc., which was bought by Calgary-based Naturener Energy Canada Inc. last August.
By Angus Henderson
18 February 2008
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