Enbridge teams up with Renewable Energy Systems for Ontario project

North America: Calgary-based pipeline giant Enbridge is teaming up with Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada to build the 99 MW Talbot Wind Energy Project in Ontario.

Enbridge is taking a 90% stake in the C$285 million project and has an option to increase that to 100%. RES Canada, the original developer of the project, retains a 10% share and is contracted to develop the wind farm.

RES won 20-year power purchase agreements for Talbot and for the 99 MW Greenwich project earlier this year in a request for proposals for new renewable energy capacity - Ontario's final green power competitive solicitation before last autumn's launch of the province's feed-in tariff programme. The company's strategy is to find partners for the projects it develops, says RES Canada spokesman Scott Dunaway.

Enbridge owns 190 MW of operating wind in Ontario and shares in two projects in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan. The Talbot project is "an excellent fit with Enbridge's strategy to expand its renewable energy platform across Canada and the US", says Enbridge chief executive Patrick Daniel. "Investing in renewable energy diversifies our business and further strengthens our financial position with stable cash flow, attractive returns and reduced business risk."

The company, which operates the world's longest liquid petroleum pipeline system and is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, has a goal of generating a kilowatt of renewable energy for every kilowatt consumed in its operations in an effort to have an environmentally neutral footprint by 2015. The wind generation it currently owns produces the equivalent of 35% of the power requirements of Enbridge's Canadian crude oil mainline.

The Talbot project, which will utilise 43 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, is expected online in December 2010. The project is the first for RES in the Canadian wind market, although it is a partner in Saint-Laurent Energies, a consortium that won 954 MW worth of contracts in a Hydro-Quebec RFP completed in 2008. Those projects, to be constructed by RES, are scheduled to come online between 2011 and 2015.

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