News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 24, 2008

CANADA'S LARGEST WIND FARM SLATED FOR DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN MANITOBA

– – –
Manitoba Hydro Board Accepts RFP Proposal For 300 MW Wind Farm at St. Joseph

Manitoba’s green economy received a major boost today with Manitoba Hydro Board’s acceptance of an RFP proposal from St. Joseph Wind Farm Inc., owned by Babcock & Brown Canada ULC, to develop a 300 megawatt wind farm, the largest in Canada, at St. Joseph near Letellier in southern Manitoba, Premier Gary Doer and Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan announced today.
 
They said the St. Joseph proposal was the best received in response to Manitoba Hydro’s request for proposals in 2007 and brings the province one step closer to achieving its goal of developing 1,000 MW of wind power. Manitoba Hydro received over 84 proposals throughout the tender process.
 
The project is subject to regulatory approvals and execution of a power purchase agreement with construction expected to start in 2009 and power deliveries starting as early as 2011.  The exact schedule will depend upon the availability of materials and equipment for the wind turbines and related transmission facilities.
 
“This new wind farm underlines Manitoba’s position as a leader in clean energy and will bring economic and environmental benefits to the local municipalities, Manitoba and the region,” said Doer. “The St. Joseph wind farm represents another important step in diversifying Manitoba’s energy resources.”
 
“The St. Joseph wind farm will add another renewable resource to Manitoba’s considerable portfolio of renewable hydroelectric generating facilities.  We supply 97 per cent of Manitoba’s electricity from renewable sources.” said Brennan.
 
The project is worth over $800 million and will generate electricity from 130 turbines. It will result in $300 million in operational expenditures, $70 million in local landholder payments and $198 million in provincial and municipal revenues over the life of the project.  Environmental benefits include displacing 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 145,000 cars off the road.
 
Manitoba Hydro will purchase wind-generated power as part of a proposed 25-year agreement with Babcock & Brown’s North American Energy Group which has interests in more than 20 wind farms across North America with an aggregate value in excess of $3 billion. The group has worked closely on this project with local residents and Calgary-based wind developer BowArk Energy.
 
“Babcock & Brown is pleased to have reached this stage of the wind procurement process and we thank Manitoba Hydro for selecting the St. Joseph wind project,” said Hunter Armistead, head of Babcock & Brown’s North American Energy Group.  “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with local communities, Manitoba Hydro and the Province of Manitoba.”
 
Manitoba’s first wind farm, located near St. Leon and 99 megawatts in size, became fully operational in June 2006.  It also provides electricity to Manitoba Hydro under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.
 
- 30 -