Payments to Flow to Land Owners: Wowchuk
Minister Rosann Wowchuk, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, attended a groundbreaking ceremony here today, which celebrated the start of construction on Manitoba’s largest wind farm, the Province of Manitoba’s continued commitment to developing renewable energy and the first landholder payments by Pattern Energy.
The minister was joined by representatives of Manitoba Hydro, Pattern Energy, municipal representatives and local residents for the event.
“Today we celebrate the start of construction on Manitoba’s second wind farm and we also celebrate the expansion of renewable energy sources in Manitoba,” said Wowchuk. “This wind farm will more than double wind capacity in the province.”
This announcement follows the successful negotiation of a 27-year power-purchase agreement between Manitoba Hydro and Pattern Energy signed late last month. The deal will see Pattern Energy invest $95 million in the 138-megawatt wind farm located about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg. Manitoba Hydro will loan Pattern Energy up to $260 million which is to be repaid over 20 years.
“Manitoba Hydro is pleased to see this project move forward to add to the province’s sources of renewable energy,” said Bob Brennan, president and CEO, Manitoba Hydro. “Wind and hydroelectric generation can work well together to supply emission-free energy to the region.”
“Pattern is proud to partner with Manitoba Hydro on the St. Joseph wind farm, which will be the largest wind farm in Manitoba once operational,” said Hunter Armistead, executive director of Pattern Energy. “We are thrilled that together with Manitoba Hydro and the province we were able to deliver very attractively priced wind power to Manitoba within a time frame that allows the project to receive the benefit of the federal Ecocredit. Manitoba is a great place to do business and the local community has been very supportive. We welcome the opportunity to develop a new source of clean energy for Manitoba while contributing to the local economy and creating approximately 225 construction jobs and 15 permanent positions.”
The wind farm will be built on 125 square km in the rural municipalities of Montcalm and Rhineland. It will be comprised of 60, 2.3-MW wind turbines. Pattern expects the first turbines will be running by year’s end. At full capacity, it will produce enough electricity to serve the needs of 50,000 homes.
The minister noted the first payments to landholders have now been mailed by Pattern Energy. Pattern is expected to pay an estimated $38 million in total to landholders and an additional $44 million in local municipal taxes over the life of the project.
Manitoba’s first wind farm, located near St. Leon, produces 100 MW of electricity.