EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and Enbridge Inc. dedicated the 300 megawatt (MW) Blackspring Ridge Wind Project today. Located in Vulcan County, Alberta, the project is the largest investment in wind energy in Western Canada.
EDF EN Canada and Enbridge officials joined Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen, Derrick Annable, Reeve of Vulcan County, Kym Nichols, Mayor of Carmangay, and more than 100 other invited guests to mark the occasion.
Construction of the 166 turbine project commenced in May 2013 and reached commercial operation twelve months later in May 2014. Mortenson Canada served as the construction contractor.
With an investment of about $0.6 billion, Blackspring Ridge generates enough clean energy to meet the electricity needs of about 140,000 Albertan homes.
“The Blackspring Ridge project is a joint effort between industry and government that demonstrates Alberta’s commitment to renewable energy development,” said Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen. “The Government of Alberta is proud to support state-of-the-art projects, like Blackspring Ridge, as we work together to green the grid in Alberta.”
“Through the construction and operation of this project, there have been local jobs for members of our community,” said Vulcan County Reeve Derrick Annable. “The indirect benefits to the area from these jobs is also a major contributor to our local economy.”
“Our community is very proud to be a part of such an important renewable energy project,” said Carmangay Mayor Kym Nichols. “There are tremendous economic benefits to our community including the more than 350 jobs that were created during construction and another 20 permanent operations and maintenance jobs.”
“A project of this magnitude comes as a result of a dedicated team of professionals and the support and involvement of the local communities,” said Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF EN North America. “We want to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the development, engineering, construction and commissioning teams who rose to the challenge, building a project of this size in almost a year by the day and there, for the first project of EDF EN in Western Canada, set a new standard for being ahead of schedule, and on budget.”
“The successful completion of Blackspring Ridge is the result of strong support by the local communities, municipality and provincial government, along with outstanding teamwork by Enbridge, EDF EN Canada and our partners,” said Enbridge Chief Financial Officer Richard Bird. “Enbridge has been investing in Alberta’s energy infrastructure for over 60 years, and we’re proud to continue building strong relationships and expanding Alberta’s renewable power supply through this investment. As a leader in renewable power generation, Enbridge continues to invest in a diversified, less carbon-intensive energy mix to help meet future demand while considering our impact on the environment.”
“Vestas kicked off its long commitment to Canada back in 1997, and Blackspring Ridge is our largest Canadian effort to date,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ Sales and Service Division. “For wind projects to thrive in the competitive Alberta electricity market, they need to generate electricity at the lowest possible cost, and we are proud that EDF EN Canada and Enbridge selected our innovative V100-1.8MW turbines. This project is a testament to the tenacity and creativity among the team, and we have already built on our partnerships with EDF EN and Enbridge to pursue additional opportunities.”
As part of the dedication ceremony, the inaugural recipients of the Blackspring Ridge Community Project Fund program were recognized and presented with cheques. The funding partners–Enbridge, EDF EN Canada, and Vestas–instituted the five-year program this spring based on the shared belief that being responsible in business also means being responsible to the community that hosts our energy projects. In total, nearly $20,000 was awarded to eight local organizations: Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation, Carmangay District Historical Society, Champion Fire Department, Public School Betterment Society of Picture Butte, Rainbow Literacy Society, Village of Carmangay Library Board Society, Village of Milo, and the Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society.
The Alberta-based Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation committed $10 million in support of the Blackspring Ridge project. The CCEMC provides funding for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Alberta adapt to climate change.
Additionally, Blackspring Ridge further helps Enbridge meet its Neutral Footprint commitment to generate a kilowatt of renewable energy for every additional kilowatt of conventional electricity that the company’s operations consume.
Since October 2012, EDF EN Canada and Enbridge have commissioned three jointly-owned wind projects in Quebec: Saint-Robert-Bellarmin (80 MW), Massif du Sud (150 MW), and Lac-Alfred (300 MW). By the end of 2015, EDF EN Canada will have placed into service 1,374 MW of wind and solar in Canada and created employment opportunities for over 1,000 people in the development and construction phase. Enbridge owns over 1,350 MW of net capacity in renewable and alternative energy and is a leader in this field as the largest solar energy generator and the second largest wind power generator in Canada.