A major wind power project for the Halkirk-Castor area has taken a big step forward after Greengate Power Corporation signed a major funding agreement with the federal government for about $46 million.
Upon completion of the 15-megawatt the project, valued at about $350 million with about 100 turbines in the Halkirk-Castor area, Greengate will receive $10 per MWh for 10 years from Natural Resources Canada, a total funding commitment worth about $46 million.
“Greengate appreciates the Government of Canada’s support of renewable energy through its ecoENERGY for Renewable Power program,” said Dan Balaban, president and chief executive officer of Greengate.
“Since its inception, this program has been extremely successful in encouraging the rapid growth of renewable energy in Canada.”
“We encourage the Government of Canada to continue supporting renewable energy,” said Balaban, who was recently named as one of Avenue magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2009.
Required by the Alberta Utilities Commission, Greengate recently completed its final round of public consultation for the Halkirk wind project with no outstanding public objections.
The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2010 with a target commercial operation date of spring 2011.
When completed, the wind project will be Alberta’s largest operating wind energy project and will supply a clean source of electricity for approximately 50,000 homes, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 300,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to removing 60,000 cars from Alberta’s roads.
“Our support for the Halkirk wind project demonstrates our government’s commitment to increase the supply of clean, renewable energy for Canadians,” said Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources.
“Through this investment, the Government of Canada is helping to create jobs and stimulate the economy while reducing the cost of clean energy for Albertans.”
Greengate plans to plant 100 wind turbines 80 metres tall on 20,000 acres, construction is expected to take nine to 12 months.
Each turbine would have a rotor with a diameter of 77 meters.
Under the proposal, turbines would be located between Halkirk and Castor on four areas:
• Sections 34 and35, Township 37, Range 15, west of the 4th meridian.
• Sections 1 to 30 and 32 to 36, Township 38, Range 15, west of the 4th meridian.
• Section 3, Township 39, Range 15, west of the 4th meridian.
• Sections 5 to 7 and 15 to 20, Township 38, Range 14, west of the 4th meridian.
The project is divided into two 150MW phases.
Located in a wind swept area of Alberta consisting of flat cultivated land and grazing land, initial Microscale Modelling indicates a very good wind resource of approximately 7.5 m/s.
The project is 10 kilometers from a 240kv transmission line with available capacity.
Once the project is operating, landowners with turbines would benefit economically, with each turbine requiring about two acres for siting and accesses, he said.
Property owners would get compensation for their land out of use, and they would get royalties based on the amount of money the project generates.
Greengate is currently developing wind energy projects with a total capacity of 1,550 MW on approximately 200,000 acres of private land in Alberta.