Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Toronto's SkyPower Corp for its 27 MW Fermeuse wind project. Located on the Avalon Peninsula about 60 kilometres south of the capital city of St John's, the project will be made up of nine Vestas 3 MW turbines and is due to be running by the end of the year. The contract for Fermeuse was originally awarded in December 2006 to Vector Wind Energy. That company was subsequently acquired by Calgary's Canadian Hydro Developers, which decided to sell the project rather than build it. Canadian Hydro's Ann Hughes says Fermeuse and another contracted Vector project in New Brunswick were outside the company's area of interest. "Being that this prospect, as well as the New Brunswick one, weren't in provinces in which we were currently active, we just felt it was better for us to sell them and get a good developer in who was going to develop the projects and get them up and running as soon as possible," she explains. Canadian Hydro offered Fermeuse to a select group of developers and SkyPower "came back with the best proposal." The terms of the sale are confidential, says Hughes. Although there are currently no utility scale wind developments in Newfoundland and Labrador, the utility has signed contracts for two projects totalling 54 MW. Together, they will displace the burning of 300,000 barrels of fuel a year at NLH's oil-fired Holyrood plant. They are also expected to produce electricity more cheaply. "On average, when compared to the cost of burning oil at the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, these contracts will save consumers approximately C$7 million per year," says NLH's Jim Keating.
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