Acciona presses ahead with 45MW New Brunswick project

CANADA: Spanish wind energy developer Acciona Energy has revived a stalled wind energy project in Atlantic Canada, following months of delay caused by tough economic conditions.

Acciona's 1.5mw turbine in use on the Eurus wind project in the Oaxaca region of Mexico
Acciona's 1.5mw turbine in use on the Eurus wind project in the Oaxaca region of Mexico

The company will invest C$115 million to build the 45 MW Lamèque Power Project located in the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick.

The project, which has a 25-year power purchase agreement with government-owned New Brunswick Power, will consist of 30 Acciona 1.5 MW turbines installed over 3100 acres on the Acadian Peninsula.

Acciona plans a groundbreaking ceremony August 10 and expects to have the project delivering power by early 2011.

First announced in January 2008 as a 49.5 MW project, Lamèque was originally scheduled to be up and operating by November 2009. But the global financial crisis intervened and the company had difficulty securing financing.

Dan DuBois, chief development officer for Acciona Wind Energy Canada, says the company reduced the project size in order to avoid wetlands at the site. "If we removed those turbines we could minimize wetland impacts and avoid a stream crossing."

Two other Maritime wind projects announced by Acciona in 2008 and also put on hold because of financing challenges -- 64.5 MW Aulac project in New Brunswick and 30 MW Amherst wind farm in Nova Scotia -- remain in limbo.

DuBois says the company remains committed to both projects. Its environmental approval for Aulac came with a number of conditions Acciona is currently reviewing, and DuBois says the company does not yet have a timeline for its installation. Amherst has its permits in place, he says, and the company is still looking at ways to move it to construction.

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