Pickens Canadian projects get transmission priority

CANADA: Two wind projects backed by legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens have received priority ranking for transmission in the next round of contract awards under Ontario’s feed-in tariff (Fit) program.

Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens
Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens

The 150MW Twenty Two Degree project and the 115MW Arran wind project, both located on the Lake Huron shoreline, are owned by the American Wind Alliance (AWA). Both are ranked high among new renewable energy projects that will be able to connect to a new 500kV transmission line currently under construction.

The 3GW Bruce-to-Milton line is expected to provide grid access to 1.2GW of renewable energy generation when it comes into service at the end of 2012.

"This brings us one step closer to receiving 20-year power purchase agreements," says Pickens, founder of Mesa Power Group LLC, which formed the AWA.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) ranked applications for the new capacity according to their shovel readiness. The projects now have to undergo a so-called economic connection test (ECT) scheduled to begin next month. Contracts will be awarded at the end of that process.

Two other Ontario projects owned by AWA, the 200MW North Bruce Wind Energy project and the 100MW Summerhill Wind Energy project north of Clinton are among the second-round applications that are currently being assessed by the OPA.

AWA’s four projects are being developed by Kincardine-based Leader Resources Services Corp. Pickens targeted the Ontario market after plans to build a 4GW project in the Texas Panhandle were stalled by falling natural gas prices, a bad economy and lack of adequate transmission. 

He cut a turbine order of 677 GE Energy 1.5 MW turbines in half to 334, many of which will be used in the Ontario projects.

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