Alberta's largest windfarm moves toward construction

CALGARY, ALB. - Calgary-based Greengate Power is one step closer to building what could be Alberta's largest wind energy project, after entering into a joint venture agreement with Capital Power Corporation.

"Right now we are in the final stages of development with the project, which includes finalizing finance, and completing the detailed engineering," said Dan Balaban, president and CEO of Greengate Power.

"The joint venture is an important element of the financing arranged. We are pleased to have one of CanadaÂ’s top power producers as a partner in the project."

Greengate Power Corporation and Capital Power L.P., which is a subsidiary of Capital Power Corporation have entered an agreement to develop, construct and operate the Halkirk I Wind Project.

Under the terms of the agreement, each party will own 50 per cent of the project.

It will be located on about 60,000 acres of private land, near the Village of Halkirk, which is about 40 kilometres east of the Town of Stettler.

"Going forward Greengate will be responsible for development and Capital Power will manage construction and operation of the project," said Balaban.

When completed, the $350 million Halkirk I project will produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes.

"We expect to be under construction later this year and be fully operational by 2012. We are finalizing the schedule and construction will take between nine and 12 months," he said.

The project is divided into two 150 MW phases – Halkirk I and Halkirk II.

The Halkirk I Wind Project involves the construction of 100 wind turbines, each rated at 1.5 MW, for a total installed capacity of 150 MW.

Each wind turbine generator will be mounted on top of an 80 metre tower with a rotor diameter of 77 metres.

The turbines are connected to a substation.

The proposed wind farm has been approved for a 34.5-kilovolt gathering system, which consists of underground and overhead power to collect the power generated by the turbines.

The project will create 100 to 200 jobs during construction as well as between five and 10 full-time jobs when the facility is in operation.

When completed, the $350 million project will produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes and will be AlbertaÂ’s largest operating wind energy project.

A project near Taber Alberta currently holds that title. Enmax began the operation of AlbertaÂ’s largest wind farm in the fall of 2007, after 16 months of construction.

The Taber wind farm is located southeast of Taber and is an 80 MW facility.

This is enough electricity to provide power for about 32,000 homes.

Halkirk I is 10km from a 240kv transmission line with available capacity and Greengate has obtained approval from the Alberta Electric System Operator AESO to connect to this transmission line.

Greengate has a strategy for wind farm development, which is based on finding windy areas along transmission lines.

The company has nine projects under development, which represent a $4 billion investment and 1,550 MW of electricity. This is about 15 per cent of AlbertaÂ’s total power generation.

The next project in the portfolio is the 300 MW Blackspring Ridge wind power project.

“When completed in late 2012 or early 2013, this project will be the largest wind energy project in Canada,” said Balaban.

"Our vision is to be CanadaÂ’s largest pure play energy producer."


in Year