(Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

(Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Paintearth council recieves Garden Plain Wind Project update

The County of Paintearth council received an update on the Garden Plain Wind Project during their Nov. 16, 2021 council meeting.

Receiving approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission in 2019, the project is being constructed by TransAlta Corporation, a Calgary-based energy utility company.

Work on the project began in the middle of October.

Straddling both the County of Paintearth and Special Areas No. 2 north of Hanna, the initial work, projected to be completed in the spring of 2021, will be the upgrading of roads in both areas to handle the construction equipment needed to erect the wind towers.

The electrical substation dedicated to the project is projected to be complete and energized by mid-August, 2022.

Construction of the 26, 102-metre towers is projected to begin in early August, with the entire project being completed and commercially operating by the second week of December, 2022.

According to Jeff Nelson, construction manager for TransAlta, this wind project is part of the company’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

TransAlta generates around 7300 MW of energy for the power grid, the majority of which comes from renewable sources such as wind and hydroelectric.

Due to changing technologies making the wind turbines more efficient, the project footprint has been reduced since it was initially proposed.

Originally approved for 36 turbines, the final plan approved will only see 26 turbines built, though they will produce the same amount of power as originally planned.

In total, 11 of the 26 turbines will be in the County of Paintearth, with the remainder taking up residence in Special Areas.

When online, the project will produce 130 MW, with power-purchase agreements already in place with Pembina Pipeline Corporation for 100 MW until 2040.

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