Saskatechewan government's small wind contract

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Saskatchewan's government-owned utility has signed a 20 year power purchase contract with Benchlands Wind Power Corp for the output of a 5.4 MW project to be built in the southwestern part of the Canadian province. The project was selected under Saskpower's Environmentally Preferred Power (EPP) program, which aims to add 45 MW of small scale, low-impact generation projects in the 25 kW to 25 MW size range to its supply mix. Benchlands is a joint venture between WindWorks Energy Corp of Calgary, the project's original developer, and its financing partner, Creststreet Windpower Development of Toronto. Creststreet's base is made up of retail investors from across Canada, including Saskatchewan. The site has a potential for up to 70 MW of wind capacity, the company says. No construction schedule has been finalised, but the project is to be operational in the fall of 2007. Timing will depend on SaskPower and Benchlands receiving environmental and regulatory approvals and SaskPower acquiring permission to build the interconnection to the provincial electrical grid. SaskPower has also signed an EPP contract for a 5 MW heat recovery project. The utility is evaluating proposals for additional EPP projects and it plans to make the final selections before the summer.

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