Capstone commissions 25-MW wind project in Ontario; more projects on the way

Capstone Infrastructure Corp. on May 22 announced the commissioning of the 25-MW Goulais Wind Farm in the Algoma District of Ontario, north of Sault Ste. Marie.

The site consists of eleven Siemens S113-2.3-MW turbines, has a 20-year Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) expiring in 2035, and was developed in partnership with the Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways.

“We’re very pleased that Goulais has been commissioned, the third Capstone wind project to successfully achieve commercial operations in the past nine months,” said Michael Bernstein, Capstone’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership with the Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways has been essential to the successful completion of this project and we are grateful for their valuable contribution to it.”

“Clean energy projects such as the Goulais Wind Farm are aligned with our People’s expectations around alternative energy sources that are compatible with looking after our mother, the earth,” said Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers. “Our partnership with Capstone is an excellent representation of building economic growth, while respecting the obligations to preserve the land. This initiative will help us guarantee a healthier and cleaner environment for our future generations.”

The Goulais Wind Farm is part of a larger development program for Capstone that includes the 9.5-MW Skyway 8 and 24-MW Saint-Philemon sites, which were commissioned in August 2014 and January 2015, respectively. Capstone also has Renewable Energy Approvals in hand for the Ontario-based Ganaraska, Grey Highlands ZEP, Grey Highlands Clean and Settlers Landing facilities. Construction on the first of these projects is expected to start later in 2015. Approvals are pending for one additional Ontario project, and one in Saskatchewan. In total, all of these wind projects make up a development program totalling 86.9 MW (net).

“Capstone’s consistent progress in organic growth demonstrates our ability to execute on our wind development projects, which form an important part of our strategy to create long-term value and stability for our shareholders,” said Bernstein. “I commend our development team for their dedication and hard work in getting Goulais commissioned on budget and within our time frame.”

Capstone said about its wind projects in a May 14 financial report: “The construction of the Saint-Philémon wind development project reached [its Commercial Operation Date] consistent with its targeted date and without cost over-runs, and Goulais commissioning is expected in May 2015. Skyway 8 and Saint-Philémon began contributing to Capstone’s operating results since their respective COD’s in January and May 2015.

“As at March 31, 2015, Capstone’s development pipeline, included the rights to net 65 MW across seven projects, six of which are progressing through the regulatory approvals process and Goulais, which is expected to commission in May 2015. These projects are being developed under PPAs in Ontario and Saskatchewan and are currently expected to achieve their CODs in 2016 and 2017, assuming the projects receive the relevant regulatory approvals required to proceed, and that approvals are issued within anticipated project time-lines. Capstone expects to fund these six development projects with a combination of equity from Capstone and, on certain projects, equity partners as well as project-level debt financing, which will be non-recourse to Capstone.”

Capstone’s strategy is to develop, acquire and manage a portfolio of high quality utilities, power and transportation businesses, and public-private partnerships that operate in a regulated or contractually-defined environment and generate stable cash flow. Capstone currently has investments in utilities businesses in Europe and owns, operates and develops thermal and renewable power generation facilities in Canada with a total installed capacity of net 474.5 MW.

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.