March 10, 2006
ST. LEON—Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak today joined the community of St. Leon and AirSource Power in celebration of the construction of the 63 turbines in Manitoba’s first-ever wind farm. The minister also announced details of the response to the invitation by the province and Manitoba Hydro for expressions of interest (EOI) in harvesting 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind over the next decade.
"I want to applaud the community of St. Leon and all the farm producers along with AirSource Power and its partners who have worked together on this project," the minister said, standing at the base of one of the wind farm’s turbines. "Our efforts to make Manitoba a significant force in wind-power development have only just begun."
The $210-million project in southwest Manitoba will result in $100 million in operational expenditures, $30 million in provincial and municipal taxes and $9 million in local landholder payments over the life of the project.
"AirSource is very pleased at the successes achieved throughout the construction phase of the project," stated Dave Kerr, director of AirSource and executive director of Algonquin Power Income Fund. "The experience has been very valuable to AirSource, providing a solid base from which to move forward in the pursuit of future wind projects."
All 63 turbines of the 99-MW wind project have been constructed and are now taking advantage of Manitoba’s world-class wind regime. The project that took one year to build and is already delivering power to Manitoba Hydro will reach full commercial operation in the next few weeks.
"Wind technology is an exciting new source of electricity for Manitobans and we look forward to integrating this new power supply into our existing system in a cost-effective way," said Bob Brennan, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.
Chomiak also announced details about the expression of interests initiated by the province and Manitoba Hydro. The EOI resulted in the following responses:
43 proponents including wind developers, First Nations, communities, turbine manufacturers and consultants provided 36 responses to the EOI.
Within those responses, 75 proposed project sites were identified plus 11 projects with unspecified locations.
A range of project sizes was proposed totalling approximately 10,000 MW.
Proposed projects vary with some being more advanced and providing very specific details while others are broad expressions of interest indicating only a desire to develop wind.
Projects were proposed throughout Manitoba, with some as far north as Churchill.
"The EOI response has exceeded our expectations in terms of this preliminary showing of interest by wind developers, communities, First Nations, turbine manufacturers and financial institutions," Chomiak added. "This is a strong indication that we can meet our future goal of 1,000 MW as long as projects are economically and technically sound."
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