St Leon wind turbine tests indicate economic feasibility of project
OAKVILLE, ONT-Operational tests of a dozen wind turbines at the site of the St Leon wind energy project in Manitoba indicate that the wind resource at the site, with the turbines installed, will generate enough electricity to make completion of the facility economically justifiable. The test results were reported recently by AirSource Power Fund I LP, which is overseeing construction and operation of Manitoba's first wind farm. At 99 megawatts, it will be one of the largest wind turbine farms in Canada to date. The test phase involved the installation and operation of 12 wind turbine generators dispersed throughout the 23,000-acre area designated for the St Leon project. Each test wind turbine was operated for a minimum of 120 days during the program. Based on the successful results of the test phase, another 51 Vestas V82 wind turbine generators will now be installed during the second phase of construction. Once construction is complete, all electricity generated by the facility will be sold to Manitoba Hydro pursuant to a 25-year power purchase agreement. The second phase of construction will be funded through long-term debt provided by a consortium of Canadian banks, plus a commitment of $69.4 million in subordinated debt by an affiliate of the Algonquin Power Income Fund. In addition, after this second phase is complete, the federal government will be providing more than $30 million over ten years under the Wind Power Production Incentive program.