TransAlta becomes first Canadian wind energy producer to hit 1GW

CANADA: Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation has brought two new projects online in Alberta and New Brunswick, becoming the first Canadian power producer to surpass 1GW of installed wind energy capacity.

Construction work begins at TransAlta's Ardenville wind farm
Construction work begins at TransAlta's Ardenville wind farm

The C$135 million, 69MW Ardenville project in southern Alberta and C$102 million, 54MW Kent Hills expansion in New Brunswick, both of which utilize Vestas 3MW turbines, bring TransAlta’s total wind capacity to 1073MW. Wind now accounts for about 10% of the company’s generating portfolio.

TransAlta CEO Steve Snyder said: "In less than 10 years, TransAlta has gone from zero to 1GW. By deliberately testing the waters in early years, then investing proactively in both our own new projects and quality acquisitions, we were able to attain this milestone."

Snyder say he expects wind will continue to be important as the company builds a generating fleet that balances a mix of technologies and fuel sources.

"I can't say for sure when we will celebrate the next gigawatt, as so much depends on market forces, but our rate of wind development has increased every year and I feel confident it won't take us as long to reach the next milestone."

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