Construction on the 138-megawatt wind project — the second major one in the province — will begin immediately, Premier Greg Selinger announced Monday. The project's go-ahead was made possible because of a 27-year power purchase deal between Manitoba Hydro and San Francisco-based Pattern Energy Group. Pattern will invest $95 million and Manitoba Hydro will loan the company up to $260 million to be repaid over 20 years.
Last September, The Winnipeg Free Press reported on the transfer of the project from Babcock & Brown, a failing Australian investment company, to a new entity called Pattern Energy: Wind farm out of breath. The paper provided the following information about the project's specifications at the time (note the significant difference in the proposed size of the project):
Canada's biggest wind farm?
Location: Southern Manitoba, between St. Joseph and Letellier
Size: 300 megawatts -- 100 megawatts more than the much-touted Wuskwatim dam
Cost: $800 million, at last count
Turbines: 130 turbines pumping 2.3 megawatts each
Scheduled completion date: 2011
Next biggest wind farm in Canada: Ontario's Wolfe Island farm, near Kingston. It's 197 megawatts
Challenger: Quebec, which has a 300-megawatt wind farm slated to open in 2012 or 2013
Read CBC's original November 2008 story about the project: Canada's largest wind farm to be set up in Southern Manitoba.