WIND POWER

Morse wind farm on stream soon.

Regina Leader-Post - - Front Page - BRUCE JOHNSTONE

By the end of the month, SaskPower will be pro­duc­ing an­other 23 megawatts (MW) of wind power from the Morse area, where Al­go­nquin Power and Util­i­ties Corp., is putting the fin­ish­ing touches on its in­de­pen­dent wind power project.

SaskPower re­cently com­pleted work on a 14 km trans­mis­sion line and sub­sta­tion in south­west­ern Saskatchewan to put the wind power on the grid, the Crown cor­po­ra­tion said in a press re­lease Tues­day.

The $81-mil­lion wind power project will pro­duce an av­er­age of 104 gi­gawatt hours (GWh) an­nu­ally — enough en­ergy to power 8,000 to 9,000 homes and busi­nesses.

When com­pleted, the Morse project will add to the 25 per cent of Saskatchewan’s power pro­duc­tion that comes from re­new­able sources, said Guy Bruce, SaskPower’s vice-pres­i­dent of re­source plan­ning. “By 2020, we fore­cast that 10 per cent of our ca­pac­ity will be from wind and we are work­ing to make that num­ber go even higher.”

Con­struc­tion on the Morse wind fa­cil­ity in Saskatchewan be­gan in early Au­gust with foun­da­tion and ac­cess road work. De­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of the 10 Siemens tur­bines com­menced in Jan­uary, with com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion of the fa­cil­ity ex­pected by the end of March.

Morse is one of three wind projects in Saskatchewan where Al­go­nquin has part­nered with SaskPower. Al­go­nquin has a 75 per cent stake in the $69-mil­lion Red Lily wind farm near Moo­somin, a 26.4 MW project us­ing 16 Ves­tas tur­bines com­pleted in 2011.

Al­go­nquin is also de­vel­op­ing SaskPower’s Chap­lin wind farm project, uti­liz­ing 77 wind tur­bines gen­er­at­ing 177 MW of power at a cost of $340 mil­lion.

The project is slated to be com­pleted by the end of 2016. Toronto-based Al­go­nquin owns seven op­er­at­ing wind farms across North Amer­ica.

In­creas­ing the use of wind en­ergy in Saskatchewan will help pro­vide com­pet­i­tive, sta­ble prices, while re­duc­ing emis­sions and di­ver­si­fy­ing the prov­ince’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply, said Robert Hor­nung, pres­i­dent of the Canadian Wind En­ergy As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Wind en­ergy has rapidly be­come one of the low­est cost op­tions for new elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion, and we ap­plaud SaskPower’s ef­forts to take ad­van­tage of its world­class wind re­source,” Hor­nung said in a state­ment.

The Saskatchewan En­vi­ron­men­tal So­ci­ety also praised SaskPower’s ef­forts to ex­pand its wind power ca­pac­ity. “They’re start­ing to move in the right di­rec­tion,’’ said Peter Preb­ble, direc­tor of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy for the so­ci­ety. “We’d like to see them go fur­ther.’’

Preb­ble noted that U.S. states, like South Dakota and Iowa, are gen­er­at­ing 25 per cent of their power from wind.

“South­ern Saskatchewan has an ex­cel­lent wind regime and the eco­nomics of wind power are at­trac­tive,’’ Preb­ble said. “Over the course of the next decade, wind power could read­ily be in­creased to 20 per cent of to­tal elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion in Saskatchewan.”

SASKPOWER

One of 10 wind tur­bines be­ing erected near Morse by Al­go­nquin Power & Util­i­ties Corp., is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of the month. The Morse project will add

23 megawatts of wind power to SaskPower’s elec­tri­cal grid.

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