Construction begins on southern Ontario's largest wind farm
PORT BURWELL, ONT-Groundbreaking ceremonies were held July 22 for what will be southern Ontario's largest wind farm, the $186-million Erie Shores facility. Once it begins operating in April 2006, Erie Shores will generate 99 megawatts (MW) of electricity from 66 wind turbines stretched along 29 kilometres of the northern shoreline of Lake Erie between Copenhagen and Clear Creek, Ontario. More than 25 farmers in the area are hosting the wind turbines. The project is owned by Clean Power Income Fund (CPIF) and developed by AIM PowerGen, a prominent windpower developer with projects in western Canada, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. "Erie Shores will provide enough electricity for 32,000 Ontario homes, and will be ready in time for next summer's requirements," noted CPIF CEO Stephen Probyn. The project was one of the successful bids in the Ontario government's November 2004 request for proposals for 300 MW of renewable energy. GE Energy is engaged as both the turbine supplier and operator of the wind farm. The company will deliver 66 of its 1.5 SLE turbines under a fixed-price supply agreement, and will provide operating and management services to Erie Shores for its first four years. AIM PowerGen's agreement with GE also includes a four-year warranty on the equipment's power curve and performance. The Erie Shores wind farm holds a 20-year, fixed-price power purchase agreement with the Ontario government.