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Spain

Spain

Spanish turbines first in a series

The Canadian arm of Spain's Acciona Energy is to build two wind power projects in the province of New Brunswick and is in the process of finalising 25-year power purchase agreements with New Brunswick Power for the output of the facilities. The projects are the first in a series selected in a request for proposals issued last year by the government-owned utility for 300 MW of wind power to be on line by November 2010.

Acciona will build a C$125 million, 64.5 MW wind farm in Aulac in the southeast of the province near its border with Nova Scotia. It also plans a 49.5 MW, C$103.5 million wind farm on Lamèque Island off the northeast tip of New Brunswick. Both projects, to be on line by November 2009, will use Acciona 1.5 MW turbines, the first time the Spanish technology has been used in Canada. Acciona is to start supplying turbines from a just opened factory in Iowa, its first in North America (page 38).

New Brunswick currently has no installed wind power capacity, although Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation is building its 96 MW Kent Hills project in the province this year. Energy Minister Jack Keir says diversifying the province's energy mix with more wind is "a win for the environment and a win for the consumer." It will bring greater stability to electricity rates in the province, he says, by lessening dependency on the uncontrollable prices of foreign oil and coal. New Brunswick currently has close to 4000 MW of generation, about 60% of which is fossil fuel based.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, who announced the agreements, says the project is part of his province's plan to become a North American energy hub. "We are transforming our province and our economy and the energy sector is key to achieving this."

The two projects will be Acciona's fourth and fifth investments in Canada's wind power market. It has a 33% stake in two Alberta wind farms with a combined capacity of 60 MW and half-share in a 76 MW Ontario project.

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