Looking for a turnkey wind plant -- Ontario RFP

Ontario Power Generation and UK nuclear power giant British Energy (Canada) Ltd have begun the search for a turbine supplier for the first large scale wind power project in the Canadian province of Ontario. The companies, joint venture partners in the 10 MW Huron Wind project, planned to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to a pre-selected list of wind turbine manufacturers by the end of October.

The RFP provides wind, environmental and geological assessments of the planned site and asks proponents "what would be the most effective way to harvest that piece of property?" says OPG project manager Chuck Edey. "We're looking at two situations for a reply, one being an absolute turnkey of a plant in total and the other being the turbines, foundations and towers."

While OPG, which owns and operates a 600 kW Tacke (Enron) turbine and a 1.8 MW Vestas V80, has the expertise to develop the site, says Edey, the company believes it is more cost-effective to leave the job to experienced developers. For that reason, he has no preconceived notions about the size of the turbines or capacity of the project beyond the 10 MW guideline. "Some utilities have had a habit of trying to specify things down to beyond their expertise. We're choosing to try and buy off the shelf and utilise the expertise of the industry," says Edey.

The project, to be located on land near Ontario's Bruce A and B nuclear generating facility on Lake Huron, is expected to be in service by the second quarter of 2002. Although Edey would not name the manufacturers who will receive the RFP, he did say that the criteria included cold weather experience and the availability of technology adapted to Canada's harsh winter climate.