November 21, 2005
The provincial government and Manitoba Hydro are committed to further harvesting Manitoba’s potential for clean, affordable energy by taking the next step in the plan to stimulate the development of 1,000 megawatts of wind power over the next 10 years, Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak announced today.
The province and Manitoba Hydro released an invitation for expressions of interest (EOI) from proponents that have potential wind-power projects of more than 10 megawatts (MW) and up to 1,000 MW. This is the first formal step in process that will result in additional renewable energy generation and significant economic development.
Over their lifetime, these projects are anticipated to result in $2 billion in capital investment, $1 billion in operating expenditures, $7 billion in energy sales, $100 million in wind-rights payments to landholders and over $300 million in provincial and municipal taxes.
In addition to the 1,000 MW, it is expected that another 50 MW will be set aside for the development of smaller, community-based projects.
"Manitoba’s first-ever $200-million wind farm at St. Leon has captured the public’s imagination and we want to be sure-footed as we proceed to harness the wind and maximize the benefits of this natural, renewable resource," Chomiak said.
"We believe that renewable wind energy can work well with Manitoba’s hydroelectric resources and we look forward to gaining more experience in integrating wind energy into our system," Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan said.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association is extremely pleased by today’s announcement. Manitoba has an excellent wind resource and we are certain there will be a very strong response from industry to this call for expressions of interest," said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
The EOI process will provide the province and Manitoba Hydro with information vital to future steps of this wind allocation such as timing and location of potential projects, capabilities of proponents, levels of community involvement and wind turbine manufacturing opportunities. The EOI response deadline is Jan. 20.
"As a complement to our hydroelectricity, wind energy will help meet our growing power-export opportunities and will bring even greater value when the province is experiencing cyclical low-water and drought conditions," Chomiak noted.
The minister said the expansion of wind power is the latest achievement in Manitoba’s strategy to develop clean, affordable energy announced in the past 30 days including:
the signing of a $500-million clean-energy transfer agreement with Ontario,
the announcement of a $145-million ethanol plant to be built at Minnedosa by Husky Canada, and
the release of an action plan designed to encourage the production of biodiesel in Manitoba.
"Manitoba remains committed to pursuing the development of energy sources that make good economic and good environmental sense and is encouraging community involvement and ownership in the wind-development process," the minister said.
There is considerable interest in the development of wind in the province, however, the financial, economic and technical feasibility of projects will be the determining factors as to which projects are successful.
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