NaturEner cuts turbines, ups capacity of Alberta wind project

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is taking comment until Aug. 15 on a recent application by NaturEner Wild Rose 1 Wind Energy Inc. to amend the approved Wild Rose 1 wind power plant, including an uprate in planned capacity.

The facility would be located in the Cypress County area. NaturEner filed an application with the AUC on June 18, requesting approval to amend the approved Wild Rose 1 wind power plant. NaturEner proposed to change the type of wind-powered turbines from the approved Acciona 1.5-MW turbines to Alstom 3.0-MW turbines.

NaturEner said that the proposed change would result in:

  • A reduction in the number of turbines from 136 to 70;
  • 65 new turbines would remain at their previously approved respective locations;
  • Five new turbines would be located between 90 and 210 meters from their previously approved respective locations;
  • A reduction in the project area;
  • An increase in the projected annual energy production;
  • An increase in the nameplate capacity of the project from 204 MW to 210 MW.

“During the time required to obtain necessary approvals for the Project and its interconnection, the business climate for wind turbines has evolved significantly,” NaturEner said in the June 18 application. “Turbine suppliers are no longer marketing and/or manufacturing older models, such as the Acciona Turbine approved under the AUC Permit. Technology has developed in the direction of larger and more productive, more efficient, turbines.”

After a thorough selection process, NaturEner said it entered into agreements with Alstom Power. The Alstom turbine, at 3.0 MW, is not only larger than the Acciona Turbine, at 1.5 MW, but also more efficient for the wind regime in the project area.

The works for the project are currently expected to commence during the last quarter of 2013. The proposed implementation schedule is based on the agreed-upon turbine delivery schedule, the timeframe within which AltaLink has indicated completion of the local interconnection, as well as commitments made to parties providing financing and ongoing construction planning work for the project, NaturEner said. To achieve the schedule outlined, approval by the AUC of this amendment is requested by Aug. 15. NaturEner additionally requests a one year extension to complete construction under the AUC permit, from Dec. 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.