Wind power deal signed for N.B. (February 01, 2007)

KENT HILLS, N.B. – Calgary-based TransAlta and New Brunswick Power have signed a 25- year agreement that entitles TransAlta to construct and operate a 75-megawatt wind farm to provide clean electricity to NB Power. The facility, which will be co-developed by Halifax-based wind developer Natural Forces Technologies, is expected to begin commercial operations by the end of 2008. The 25-turbine wind farm, to be located in Kent Hills, will provide approximately 220,000 megawatt-hours of wind electricity per year, enough to supply approximately 13,600 homes. The plant will use three-megawatt wind turbines purchased from Ontario-based Vestas-Canada Wind Technology. The cost of the project is estimated at $130 million.

“We are on the road to acquiring 10 per cent of the electricity used by New Brunswickers from renewable sources by 2016,” said New Brunswick’s energy minister Jack Keir. The wind farm is the first step towards NB Power’s goal to increase its wind power generating capacity by 200 MW by 2009.

In addition to its wind initiatives, NB Power is participating in the Electric Power Research Institute’s tidal power study in order to explore other options to obtain renewable energy. Other potential sources include biomass, small hydro and electricity generated from landfill gas.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association expects the Canadian wind power market, currently at 1,340 MW, to grow to 10,000 MW by 2015. With the addition of Kent Hills, TransAlta will operate approximately 260 MW of wind-generated power in Canada. TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company established in 1911 with assets in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Australia.

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