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BID TO WHEEL WIND FROM CANADA TO UNITED STATES

Washington state's Snohomish County Public Utility District has called for bids on electricity supply. Among the offers are a scheme for wheeling almost 100 MW over the border from Canada to the USA. This is welcomed as a sign of Canada's increasing involvement in wind.

A final decision will be made in early autumn on successful bids for supply of 250 average MW of power needed by Snohomish County Public Utility District (SPUD) in Washington state. Four major wind projects, totalling 138.4 average MW, are among the proposals, including a scheme for wheeling nearly 100 MW of wind power across the border from Canada. A short list of favoured projects was to be announced July 29, says SPUD's Jim Jennings.

SPUD received 47 supply side bids totalling 7943 MW and 19 demand side bids totalling 44 MW. The four wind bids are from three US companies and one Canadian: Kenetech Windpower is bidding a 100 MW Snohomish Windplant in Walla Walla County; New World Power Corp is bidding a 25 MW Makah Windfarm Project in Clallum County; FloWind Corp is bidding its 25 MW Columbia Windfarm #2 near Goldendale; and Canadian Enhanced Energy Development Ltd is bidding power from a new 100 MW plant proposed for Pincher Creek, Alberta, confirms Jason Edworthy of The Chinook Project Inc in Canada.

The move to export up to 94 MW of wind power across the international border to Washington state is welcomed as a sign of Canada's increasing involvement in wind. "It proves that Alberta wind projects are now approaching the magnitude and financial scope of the large oil and gas plays which have previously defined the Alberta energy economy," says an observer. Canadian Enhanced Energy Development and The Chinook Project Inc, both of Calgary, responded to a February request for proposals (RFP) by SPUD, which is seeking supply source diversity and cheaper, new power, says SPUD's Coe Hutchison.

The Chinook Project is currently developing the Pekunnee project at Cowley Ridge, comprising 27 Kenetech 33M-VS turbines, scheduled to begin commercial operation in late August beside a 9 MW Kenetech project which started feeding power to the grid at the same site in December 1993. The two Cowley Ridge farms will supply power to TransAlta Utilities (TAU) on a long term contract. TAU in February filed proposed wheeling rates with Alberta's Public Utilities Board. If approved, TAU would wheel power from private producers and industrials to the provincial border from where the power would be further wheeled to US sites.

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