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Oil company Suncor says third wind plant far from being its last

The second Alberta wind farm developed by Suncor Energy, Enbridge Inc and Spain's Acciona Wind Energy was officially opened last month. But the 30 MW Chin Chute project in the south of the province will not be their last, says Peter Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America. "This is an excellent partnership, one in which we continue our efforts in new projects, all at different stages of development," he says. Last month the companies were still in the process of commissioning the 20 GE Energy 1.5 MW turbines, which make up the C$60 million project on 583 hectares of leased private land, and completing a 20-kilometre transmission line. Power from the project is expected to be flowing to the grid late this month. Once in full service, Acciona will operate the wind farm. The Chin Chute project is Suncor's third. It also has a 20 year power purchase contract for a 76 MW project in Ontario, which it is developing with Acciona. "Our path does not end there," says the company's Dave Byler. Our long term goal is to develop a new wind power project every 12 to 18 months." Suncor is a multibillion-dollar player in Alberta's oil sands industry, but says its vision is to be a sustainable energy company. Chin Chut is also Enbridge's third wind project and further positions the petroleum pipeline and natural gas distribution company to "become a significant player" in wind, says the company's Chuck Szmurlo. Enbridge is also moving into Ontario, where it has a power purchase contract for a 200 MW project. The completion of Chin Chute increases Canada's total wind capacity to 1079 MW. So far this year, a record 405 MW has been built.

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