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Canada

Small-scale wind developers to enter Saskpower 20-year contract 'lottery'

CANADA: Wind energy developers in the Prairie province of Saskatchewan will be hoping to win a power purchase contract under the provincial utility's standing offer program for renewable energy projects 100 kW to 10 MW in size.

The Cypress Hills,  Saskatchewan (pic SpaceRitual)
The Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan (pic SpaceRitual)

SaskPower wants to buy 50MW from small-scale renewables this year and plans to take half of this from wind. It is offering fixed-price, 20-year contracts to the projects it selects.

The price to be paid depends on the target commercial date, with projects coming on line 2010 receiving C$94.21/MWh.

The contracts will be allocated using a lottery system, with a May 19 deadline for the draw.

Applications will be randomly selected until the quota is filled, with unselected proposals returned unopened to the developers.

"We believe a lottery is an equitable way of allocating space in the Green Options Partners Program," said Guy Bruce, SaskPower's general manager of system planning.

The utility plans to hold a lottery once a year and will annually review how much it wants to buy and the generation technologies that are eligible.

SaskPower issued a request for qualifications for 175MW of large-scale wind power in December and will use it to select companies it will invite. A formal request for proposals will come in the spring.

The wind it expects to buy from both procurement processes will more than double Saskatchewan's installed wind capacity. It currently has 171MW on line and has signed a contract for another 25MW to come online in 2011.

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