Suncor seeks EUB approval for third wind energy project
Suncor Energy Products has applied to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) for approval to build a 30-megawatt (MW) wind power project 20 kilometres southwest of Taber, Alberta. The proposed Chin Chute wind power project would consist of approximately 20 wind turbines built across 583 hectares of leased private land. Its power generation capacity would be sufficient to power 14,000 Alberta homes and displace the equivalent of 88,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Pending regulatory and Suncor approvals, construction could begin this fall.
"Suncor remains very committed to developing renewable energy as part of our climate change action plan," said Suncor president and CEO Rick George. "Investing in green energy is good for Alberta's economy, good for our environment and a good long-term investment for our shareholders."
The Municipal District of Taber has granted planning approval for the project and Suncor held an open house last month to share information with residents. The company is also conducting an environmental assessment. The project is subject to other reviews and approvals, including an application for funding under the federal Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI).
If approved, Chin Chute would be Suncor's third wind power project and its second in southern Alberta. The company, along with partners Enbridge and EHN Wind Power Canada, built the 30-MW Magrath wind power project in 2004. Suncor and Enbridge also own and operate the 11-MW SunBridge project near Gull Lake, Saskatchewan. The company expects to finalize partner participation in the Chin Chute project shortly.
More information is available from Darcie Park at Suncor, 403/205-7959.
In other activities, Suncor Energy Products reported that it has received the final environmental approvals from the federal and Ontario governments for its Sarnia area ethanol production facility, in St Clair Township. With approvals from Natural Resources Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment now in hand, Suncor will start construction on the estimated $120-million facility immediately. Suncor will receive a $22 million contribution towards the plant's construction from the federal government's Ethanol Expansion program.
Once completed, by mid-2006, the new facility will produce approximately 200 million litres of ethanol annually, consuming approximately 20 million bushels of corn each year in the process. Suncor has been blending ethanol into its retail-branded gasoline sold in Ontario since 1996. As a clean burning, renewable resource, ethanol helps reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 30%.