September 11, 2006

Manitoba to develop 300 MW of additional wind power

WINNIPEG, MAN-Manitoba has announced plans to develop another 300 megawatts (MW) of wind power, enough to power more than 100,000 homes. "This is the next significant step toward our commitment to harvest 1,000 megawatts of Manitoba wind power over the next decade," said Energy, Science and Technology Minister Dave Chomiak. The announcement follows a process that concluded in February in which the Manitoba government and Manitoba Hydro called for expressions of interest in Manitoba wind development. Over 40 responses were received from wind developers, First Nations, communities, turbine manufacturers and consultants. As the next step, Manitoba Hydro will issue a request for proposals this winter for new wind projects totalling 300 MW. Actual construction of new projects could begin as early as 2007-08. "Manitoba Hydro can use its hydro system to help accommodate the intermittent nature of wind and use its interconnections to move it to customers in the export market," Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan noted. The province is planning three further allocations of 200 MW each for 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2017-18, based on economic viability. Manitoba's 1,000-MW wind strategy is expected to generate $2 billion in investment, $100 million in wind-rights payments to landowners and $150 million in property taxes to local municipalities. Future phases of the strategy will include smaller, community-based wind projects where individuals such as farm producers or other community groups can sell power back into the energy grid.

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