(LAKESHORE, ON) – Samsung Renewable Energy and its partner Pattern Energy Group have turned on the switch at their joint venture, 100 megawatt Belle River Wind power facility. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power as many as 35,000 Ontario homes annually.
Samsung’s vice-president, Eskay Lee, reported that the building of the wind capture structures created more than 235 jobs during peak construction. The project also marked the seventh Canadian project for Pattern and their fifth in Ontario.
Collectively, its projects are generating nearly 1.3 gigawatts of operational capacity. An additional wind farm is planned for operation this year in Quebec.
Pattern’s CEO, Mike Garland, said Belle River Wind will generate, “… millions of dollars in landowner payments, community benefits, and tax revenue for the community around Lakeshore and for the local schools.”
The project will employ a dozen staff to operate the turbines. The towers were manufactured at Windsor-based CS Wind and the blades are from Tillsonburg.
Belle River Wind expects to spend more than $2.5 million in direct spending over 20 years in property taxes and landowner lease royalties. In addition, it has committed $6 million to Lakeshore as part of a long-term Community Benefit Program to support education and other initiatives, including an initial contribution of $2 million and an annual contribution of $200,000 for the next 20 years.
Compared to coal-fired generation, the Belle River Wind facility will conserve enough water to meet the annual freshwater needs of nearly 9,000 Ontarians and avoid more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 each year; the equivalent of taking more than 60,000 cars off the roads, according to emission rates from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and southwestern Ontario per capita water consumption from Environment Canada.
Belle River Wind will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator. Power rates under the contract were not released.