Enbridge makes $500m US renewables entrance

CANADA: Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. has made its first foray into the US renewable energy market, investing $500million US in a 250MW Colorado wind farm expected on line by late 2011.

The Vestas V90 turbine will be used on the Colorado project
The Vestas V90 turbine will be used on the Colorado project

The company bought the Cedar Point Wind Energy Project from developer RES Americas, which Enbridge has partnered with on the Talbot and Greenwich wind projects, both 99MW, in Ontario.

RES will construct Cedar Point, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Public Service Company of Colorado, under fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. Construction of its 139 Vestas 1.8MW turbines will begin shortly.

Al Monaco, Enbridge’s executive vice-president of major projects and green energy, says the project "establishes a beach head" for future investment into the growing US green energy market.

"We expect to continue to grow our renewable portfolio, particularly in states like Colorado that support green energy development."

Enbridge, which operates the world’s longest liquid petroleum pipeline system and is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, has set a goal of generating a kilowatt of renewable energy for every kilowatt consumed in its operations in an effort to have an environmentally neutral footprint by 2015. It also sees renewable energy as a new source of earnings growth, says Monaco.

The investment in Cedar Point topped off a two-day spending spree by Enbridge, which also announced plans to invest C$400 million to expand a regional oil sands pipeline and an undisclosed amount to partner with two utilities on an Alberta carbon capture and sequestration project.

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