MEDICINE HAT, ALTA. — Work has begun on the Whitla Wind Facility in Alberta, one of the first projects to benefit from the province’s Renewable Electricity Program.
Capital Power, the project owner, anticipates the project could cost up to $325 million to build.
The two-phase project is a 298.8-megawatt (MW) wind power facility located approximately 10 kilometres south of Bow Island in the County of Forty Mile.
Crews are currently working to build access roads for equipment. The first phase includes the construction of 58 turbines.
Last December, the first 201.6 MW phase of the project was selected for a 20-year contract by the Alberta Electric System Operator in the first round of the Renewable Electricity Program.
“I’m pleased to see our plan is working to make life better and more affordable,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a press release. “This highly competitive program is attracting investment from Alberta and around the world, creating new jobs in our province while getting Albertans the most renewable power generation for the lowest cost.”
Notley added the program will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta and its successful bids have set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.
Capital Power, based in Edmonton, submitted its combined power plant and substation application to the Alberta Utilities Commission last October and this August the province found the project to be in the public interest and approved both phases of the build.
As part of the regulatory application, Capital Power received a sign-off for the project’s environmental evaluation from Alberta Environment and Parks.
The first phase of construction began in September and the project is expected to begin commercial operation late next year. Project procurement activities will be ongoing over the next six months.