Alberta’s largest wind farm comes on stream

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. has completed Halkirk Wind, the largest wind project completed to date in Alberta. The 150MW project, which cost $346 million, hosts 83 Vestas V90 turbines, owned by Capital Power, a subsidiary of Edmonton-based Capital Power Corporation. Each turbine produces 1.8 MW of power. The facility occupies 15,000 acres of private land; each turbine has a footprint of about one acre, including road access.

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Each of 83 Vesta V90 turbines generates 1.5 MW of power. They are 124 metres high when assembled, with blades 44 metres long and a nacelle weighing 70 tonnes. The Halkirk Wind project is the largest wind farm in Alberta.

Each of the turbines, whose parts were manufactured and shipped in sections from Colorado and from Europe, consists of nine separate pieces: nacelle, hub, three blades, and four tower sections. The towers, each of which sits on a tower base weighing forty-nine tonnes, are eighty metres high. Each nacelle, or housing for the generating components, which include generator, gearbox, cooling system, electronics and transformer, weighs seventy tonnes. The blades are forty-four metres long, for a total height of 124 metres, the height of a thirty-seven storey building.

At peak construction, RES Canada had up to 360 skilled workers on site for the civil and electrical works associated with this large project. The project will provide enough renewable energy to power approximately 50,000 average Alberta homes.

Halkirk Wind’s electricity is sold into the Alberta spot market, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is purchasing the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) under a 20-year fixed-price agreement.

RES Canada has 631MW of wind and 30MW of solar built or under construction in Canada, including the 270MW South Kent Wind project, Ontario’s largest wind farm.

RES Canada is also constructing the MATL (Montana-Alberta Tie-Line), a 345 km high-voltage power line between Lethbridge, Alberta and Great Falls, Montana.

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