The $475 million facility, which will be the second largest wind facility in Canada by megawatts will double Canadian Hydro's operations. The project is on target to begin commercial operations by the end of June, and some of the wind turbines have started turning and generating electricity.
"Our staff and contractors did an incredible job getting all the wind turbines erected by mid-April," said Geoff Carnegie, Development Manager of Canadian Hydro's Wind Division. "All the required infrastructure and testing have been approved by the Independent Electricity System Operator, Electrical Safety Authority, and Hydro One Networks Inc. to make the energization of the Wolfe Island Transformer Station possible last week.
Carnegie explained the first three electrical circuits, representing 43 of the 86 wind turbines, are ready for integration into the provincial electrical system and are expected to be fully commissioned, generating electricity to the grid in May, with the remaining three circuits to follow throughout May and June. Once completed, the 197.8 MW facility is expected to generate approximately 594,000 MWh of clean, renewable electricity annually.
"We're excited to bring the Wolfe Island Wind Project online and continue our contribution towards maintaining Wolfe Island as a vibrant, active community," said Canadian Hydro CEO, John Keating. "We're committed to being a responsible developer, a good neighbour, and environmental steward."
Once the facility becomes operational, it will generate reliable landowner and community income through royalties, taxes, and the Township Amenities Agreement. The Amenities Agreement formally establishes a good, long term working relationship between Canadian Hydro and the Township of Frontenac Islands. The Amenities Agreement will provide approximately $645,000 per year in additional revenue that will allow the Township to add services and enhance community infrastructure for the benefit of all ratepayers.
"This revenue is in addition to property taxes paid to municipal and provincial governments and royalties paid to participating landowners," said Carnegie. "All in, the estimated economic benefit, including royalties, taxes, amenities agreement, and operating and maintenance expenses, equates to over $3 million annually for decades to come."