Shell buys wind power from Cowley Ridge in Alberta

Shell Canada Limited has signed a three-year agreement with Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers to buy the electricity generated by three of the renewable energy company's newly installed 375 kW wind turbines. The machines, part of an expansion of Canadian Hydro's Cowley Ridge wind plant in Alberta, are expected to produce about three million kWh a year. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but along with the power, Shell will acquire any greenhouse gas emission credits generated by the turbines. Earlier this year, Shell said it was studying potential business investments in renewable energy. Becoming a green power customer is an opportunity to learn more, says Tim Faithfull, Shell Canada's president and CEO. "Renewable energy sources have potential, and we think it's wise to include wind energy in our power supply portfolio, particularly in Alberta's rapidly changing, deregulated marketplace," says Faithfull. "Experience as a customer for renewable power will also be good input to our ongoing review of renewable investment opportunities in Canada." Canadian Hydro president John Keating praised Shell, Canada's third largest integrated petroleum producer, for demonstrating its "environmental commitment" and serving as "an example to other industrial power consumers." Alberta's power market is scheduled to open to retail competition January 1. The Cowley Ridge expansion consists of five wind turbines, all of which were operational in the first week of last month. Power from the two machines not under contract to Shell is being sold into Alberta's spot electricity market. The 1.875 MW addition brings the total capacity of Cowley Ridge to nearly 21 MW.