It will be 2010 before wind turbines spin in Wainfleet.
The project, a partnership between Niagara Region and Rankin Construction, which is costing taxpayers $4 million, will take three years because of increased demand on wind-turbine manufacturers, John Bergsma, commissioner of corporate services, told regional councillors Wednesday.
The company supplying the turbines, Enercon, will deliver them by May 23, 2010, Bergsma said at a corporate services committee meeting.
But “we will be having discussions about an alternate supplier,” he said.
Called Wind Energy Niagara (WEN), the project will see five turbines, each taller than 80 metres, dot Wainfleet’s landscape, resulting in a 10-megawatt wind farm. The farm will connect to the local electricity grid and be owned by a new company formed by Niagara Region and Rankin Construction.
Rankin and the Region are each contributing $4 million, with the new company borrowing another $15 million to $17 million in startup costs, for a total bill of $23 million to $25 million.
The Region has hired a financial adviser to work out its share of the details, Bergsma said.
Initial projections had the farm operating as soon as this year. Residents are eager for its launch, said Wainfleet Mayor Barb Henderson.
“Wainfleet is very supportive of this project, as are the landowners,” she said. “So we would really like to meet that deadline.”
At peak capacity, the wind farm will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 3,500 homes.
Grimsby Regional Coun. Debbie Zimmerman urged Bergsma to continue seeking grants for the project.
By Samantha Craggs
13 March 2008
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