Located four kilometres from Fort Macleod, the wind farm will incorporate 22, three-MW wind turbines. Once complete, the Blue Trail wind farm will provide an annual average of 195,000 megawatt hours per year - enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 29,000 homes.
"Wind power is a key resource for meeting the demand for competitively priced, and environmentally sustainable electricity in the Alberta market," said Steve Snyder, TransAlta's President and CEO. "This project will be ready to be commissioned by December 2009, which will help alleviate some of the supply concerns in our home market."
"Blue Trail supports TransAlta's drive toward capitalizing on growth opportunities in our core western markets - through the addition of high-quality wind, small hydro, geothermal and co-generation assets to its generation portfolio. The project meets TransAlta's return thresholds and is consistent with the company's capital allocation plan," Mr. Snyder added.
Delivery of the V90 turbines from Vestas is scheduled to begin mid-2009. TransAlta will work with local firms during construction. The project is subject to regulatory and environmental approvals.
The announcement of the Blue Trail wind power project follows TransAlta's announcement of the 96 MW Kent Hills wind farm, located in New Brunswick.
TransAlta also owns and/or operates the Castle River, McBride Lake and Summerview wind farms in southern Alberta. The addition of the Blue Trail wind power project brings TransAlta's total net wind-generated capacity to 314 MW.