Ontario wind projects mark milestones
Epcor Utilities' Kingsbridge I wind power project recently reached a milestone when two completed turbines generated electricity to Ontario's electrical grid system for the first time. This brings to six the number of Kingsbridge I turbines that are now on-line and producing power.
Twenty-one of 22 turbines have now been erected in the 40-megawatt (MW) project near Goderich, in the township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. Completion and energization of additional turbines will continue through the upcoming weeks, as construction continues on the project.
Epcor remains on track to meet its commitment to the provincial government to have Kingsbridge I running by the end of the second quarter of 2006. Kingsbridge I will be followed by Kingsbridge II, consisting of up to 70 wind turbines. It will be constructed north of Kingsbridge I in the same township.
Last November, Epcor signed a power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority for the sale of power from the 160-MW Kingsbridge II project. Together, Kingsbridge I and II will represent 29% of existing Canadian wind power capacity.
As of January 2006, Canada had a total installed wind power capacity of 683 MW.
Meanwhile, the Clean Power Income Fund's (CPIF) Erie Shores wind farm in southern Ontario was successfully "energized" on March 6, 2006 as power flowed from the Hydro One grid to the project. Energization is a major construction milestone as the initial stage of the commissioning process to begin electricity production and sales. Erie Shores can now commission (test) completed wind turbines and start selling clean power via the Independent Electricity System Operator to Ontario customers.
CPIF began construction of the 99-MW wind power project in July 2005. To date, 27 of the project's GE SLE 1.5-MW turbines have been erected, representing 40% of the 66 wind turbines which will make up the Erie Shores wind farm.
All equipment has been delivered and is stored on site, ready for the continuing installations. More information, along pictures of the construction progress at Erie Shores, including erection of the wind turbines, can be found on the CPIF Web site, www.cleanpowerincomefund.com.
Finally, a third major Ontario wind power project, the Melancthon I wind farm, marked its startup on March 6. "We have achieved commercial operation ahead of schedule," said John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro Developers.
The $126-million, 67.5MW Melancthon I Wind Farm, in Melancthon township near Shelburne, is expected to provide enough power for 20,000 homes annually. Phase II of the project will provide an additional 132 MW, enough to power 40,000 homes.
These three wind farms are some of the 18 new, renewable energy projects the Ontario government has supported so far as it works toward its goal of generating 5% of its electricity capacity through renewable generation by 2007 and 10% by 2010.