Halkirk wind project ready to roll

After years of planning and months of planting turbines, the 150-megawatt Halkirk wind project is slated to be in full operation

After years of planning and months of planting turbines, the 150-megawatt Halkirk wind project is slated to be in full operation within a few weeks.

The project is touted as Alberta’s largest wind farm.

“All 83 turbines are up and we expect to be fully operating by the end of December,” said Sandeep Sharma, project manager under Capital Power Corporation.

Standing more than 80 metres high, with blades 44 metres long, the turbines between Halkirk and Castor on both sides of Highway 12 have altered the landscape in the west side of the County of Paintearth.

“Some of the turbines have already been commissioned,” Sharma said.

Work continues to finalize the functions on several other turbines, as the construction phase nears the end.

“We are proud of our accomplishment,” Sharma said. “We are happy to be in the community and working co-operatively with support from landowners and the County of Paintearth.”

Sharma also acknowledged the strong support from the community, as more than 1,200 signed a special blade that has been erected on one of the blades along Secondary Highway 855, just south of Halkirk.

The facility is projected to employ 15 fulltime workers, with headquarters in Halkirk, Sharma said.

Although no event has been planned to officially mark the full operation of the Halkirk wind project, Sharma said the facility would be up and running before New Year’s Day.

It’s pegged to generate clean, renewable energy for Alberta, and enough electricity to meet the average annual power needs of 50,000 homes.

Energy produced as part of the Halkirk wind project will be sold onto the Alberta spot market, as renewable energy credits are being sold to Pacific Gas and Pacific Electric under a 20-year fixed-price agreement.