McBride Lake 75 MW complete

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Vision Quest Windelectric has completed construction of the 75 MW McBride Lake wind farm, six months after it started. The last of McBride's 114 Vestas 660 kW wind turbines were commissioned in late June. The C$100 million project is jointly owned by Vision Quest and Enmax Corporation, an energy utility with about half a million customers across Alberta. The entire wind farm output qualifies for a subsidy of C$0.012/kWh under the federal government's wind power production incentive (WPPI) program, even though turbines commissioned after March 31 are supposed to receive only C$0.01/kWh. The government granted an extension, says Vision Quest's Jason Edworthy, because of the tough weather conditions, including high winds and cold temperatures, faced by construction crews during the winter and spring. The McBride Lake plant will produce about 235,000 MWh a year, enough to power more than 32,500 homes. Enmax is buying the wind farm's entire output. Completion of the plant -- the second project to be commissioned this year -- brings Canada's total installed wind capacity to 311 MW. In January, a single 750 kW Lagerwey turbine owned by the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative and Toronto Hydro started operation on the city's waterfront.

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