Alberta back at top of wind league

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Alberta is back in front with the highest installed wind capacity in Canada following completion of the 54 MW second phase of the Kettles Hill wind farm near Pincher Creek, made up of 30 Vestas 1.8 MW turbines. Majority owner Creststreet Kettles Hill Windpower LP financed the project through a public offering of "flow through" units that entitled buyers to certain tax write-offs under the federal government's Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses program. With completion of the full project, says CEO Robert Toole, the investment partnership's independent directors have initiated a process to sell the project and provide liquidity to unit holders. "There has been interest expressed in the process by quite a number of parties," he says. Kettles Hill was built as a fully merchant project, selling its power in Alberta's spot electricity market. "Going into the sales process we have made the decision not to contract the power and leave that decision up to whoever purchases the project," says Toole. It is a strategy Creststreet "would not have any hesitation" in following again. "The power price market in Alberta has improved since we made the decision to build the project, so our timing was good from that perspective. We also have the full green credit exposure from the renewable energy production. With each passing day it is becoming clearer that we are getting closer to a market for those renewable energy credits in Canada and this project will be very well positioned to take advantage of that," he says. Alberta now has 442.6 MW of wind, followed by Ontario with 415.3 MW. Canada's installed wind capacity is nearly 1588 MW.

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