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AIM commissions first of four wind projects in Ontario

British-owned AIM PowerGen Corp, based in Toronto, has brought two 9.9 MW wind projects online in Ontario. The Frogmore and Cultus wind farms in Norfolk County on the northern shore of Lake Erie, each use six Vestas 1.65 MW turbines. The projects are among the first to be build under the province's standard program for wind power purchasing, which offers 20-year power purchase contracts at a fixed price of $C0.11/kWh for electricity generated by wind plant up to 10 MW in size connected to the grid at the level of a local distribution network. So far, 88 wind projects with a total capacity of 758 MW have been awarded contracts under the program. The Frogmore and Cultus projects are the first of four standard-offer wind farms AIM expects to commission in Ontario this summer. Construction of its Clear Creek and Mohawk Point projects, also 9.9 MW in size, is complete and the company is finalising interconnection with the distribution company. AIM's owner, UK-based Renewable Energy Generation Limited (REG), announced in June that it had refinanced the four projects with C$75 million of long term debt. It plans to use funds from the refinancing to equity finance four more standard-offer projects scheduled to start construction during autumn 2009 and has signed a turbine supply agreement with GE Energy for 24 of the company's 1.5 MW turbines. The refinancing is a "testament to the continuing appeal" of operating wind projects under sound, long term power purchase contracts, says REG's Andrew Whalley. The refinancing will enable REG to continue its build-out program, both in Canada and the UK, he adds.

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