The winners have signed 20 year power purchase agreements with the Ontario government and must begin delivering electricity by the end of 2007. Together, the projects represent an investment of C$700 million. Ontario energy minister Dwight Duncan promises there will be more. "Early in the new year, we plan to move quickly to add even more renewable energy to Ontario's generation mix," he says. "Continued investments in renewable energy will expand our economy by creating new jobs and opportunities across the province."
The purchase is the first step in meeting the government's commitment to provide 5%, or 1350 MW, of generating capacity from renewables by 2007 and 10% by 2010. It is also a huge step in achieving a diverse generation portfolio for the province, says David Butters, president of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario.
Of the five project sponsors, two are already members of the wind industry. Canadian Hydro Developers, with three plants in Alberta, will build a 67.5 MW first phase of the Melancthon Grey Wind Project. EPCOR Power Development Corporation, which owns a share in a 900 kW turbine in Alberta, got the nod for its 39.6 MW Kingsbridge Wind Power Project.
The other winners, new to the industry, have been laying the groundwork in Ontario for years. Superior Wind Energy will build two projects, the 99 MW Prince Wind Farm and the 49.5 MW first phase of a project it is calling the Blue Highlands Wind Farm. The fifth project, the 99 MW Erie Shores Wind Farm, is a partnership between AIM PowerGen Corporation and the Clean Power Income Fund. The Torton-based fund owns a number of wind facilities in the US, but is just beginning to move into the Canadian market. It will take a 100% share of Erie Shores when construction is completed. GE 1.5 MW turbines are to be used. Choices for other projects have not been announced.