Wind energy projects funded in Alberta

Five new Alberta wind-generated energy projects have $1.2 billion behind them, earmarked by the provincial government and announced Dec. 17.

The projects include:

• A 207-megawatt project southwest of Fort Macleod, called Windrise, involving TransAlta Corp.

• A 202-megawatt project near Medicine Hat, called Cypress Wind Power, involving EDF Renewables Canada in partnership with Kainai First Nation.

• A 48-megawatt project near Brooks, called Buffalo Atlee, involving Capstone Infrastructure Corp. in partnership with Sawridge First Nation.

• A 113-megawatt project near Lethbridge, called Stirling Wind, involving Potentia Renewables in partnership with Paul First Nation and Greengate Power Corp.

• A two-phase project totaling 193 megawatts near Jenner, called the Jenner Wind Project, built by Potentia.

A provincial government news release indicated the projects are part of a target of 30 percent renewable energy by 2030. They are expected to create about 1,000 jobs and generate enough electricity to power nearly 300,000 homes.

The three projects that are private sector partnerships with First Nations include a minimum 25 percent Indigenous equity component, said the news release.

Chief Roy Fox of Kainai First Nation said it opens the door for Indigenous partnerships in the future as well.

“This is an important first step in economic reconciliation that helps our children and their children prosper alongside other Albertans for generations to come,” Fox said.

“We’re greatly looking forward to partnering with EDF Renewables, as they recognize and respect the importance of our traditional and ancestral lands.”

The government said the five projects are expected to bring an estimated $175 million in rural benefits during the life of the projects, which includes landowner payments and municipal revenue.

All are expected to start construction in 2020 and be operational by mid-2021.

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