Oil company Suncor Energy to build 30 MW plant in southern Alberta

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Suncor Energy, a Canadian oil company, has unveiled plans for its third wind power project. The company has applied for regulatory approval to build a 30 MW wind farm in southern Alberta. The proposed Chin Chute Wind Power Project, 20 kilometres southwest of the community of Taber, is to be made up of approximately 20 wind turbines built across 583 hectares of leased private land. Pending regulatory and Suncor approvals, construction could begin this fall. "Suncor remains very committed to developing renewable energy as part of our climate change action plan," says CEO Rick George. "Investing in green energy is good for Alberta's economy, good for our environment and a good long-term investment for our shareholders." Suncor is a major player in Alberta's oil sands, and in March announced plans to invest C$5.9 billion to increase its upgrading capacity to more than half a million barrels a day. The company, along with partners Enbridge Inc and EHN Wind Power Canada, owns the 30 MW Magrath project in Alberta. Suncor and Enbridge also own the 11 MW SunBridge project in Saskatchewan. Partner participation in the Chin Chute project is to be finalized in the near future. Meanwhile, another oil sands developer, Nexen Inc, is moving ahead with its joint venture partner, GW Power Corporation, to build the 70.5 MW Soderglen project in southern Alberta. Construction is expected to start this year, with completion in 2006. It will utilise 47 GE Energy 1.5 MW turbines. GW Power recently closed a private placement equity financing for gross proceeds of C$30 million, which will be used to partially fund the project.

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