Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kruger Energy dedicates new wind farm in Montérégie

Kruger Energy held a dedication ceremony today at its new wind farm in Montérégie, Québec. The official ceremony was attended by Joseph Kruger II, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kruger Inc.; Gaétan Lelièvre, Minister for Regions and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, several local elected officials and many residents who welcomed the commissioning of this 100-MW wind farm that generated investments of more than $300 million.
“We take great pride in the work we have done in Montérégie. From the very start, relations with the local communities have been based on openness, trust and cooperation and the result is a wind farm that is well integrated into its environment, and a project that brings significant economic benefits to the region,” said Jean Roy, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kruger Energy. “We are here for the long run and are committed to maintain this close collaboration for the years to come.”
This is Kruger Energy’s first wind farm in Québec, and its third in Canada. The other two are located in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. The Montérégie project consists in 44 wind turbines installed in five Montérégie municipalities, namely Saint-Isidore, Saint-Rémi, Saint-Michel, Saint-Constant and Mercier. The electricity generated – enough to power the equivalent of 10,000 electrically heated homes – will be sold to Hydro-Québec Distribution under a twenty-year contract.
Montérégie Wind Farm – Highlights and technical details
The 100-MW wind farm consists in 44 2.3-MW wind turbines erected in five Montérégie municipalities:
Saint-Isidore: 19 wind turbines
Saint-Rémi: 10 wind turbines
Saint-Michel: 7 wind turbines
Saint-Constant: 5 wind turbines, and
Mercier: 3 wind turbines.
The electricity generated annually by the wind farm – enough to power the equivalent of 10,000 electrically heated homes – is sold to Hydro-Québec Distribution.
Because the wind farm is located near major load centers, long transmission lines did not have to be built and electrical losses are reduced.
The wind farm’s underground distribution system is connected to an existing Hydro-Québec distribution line located about thirty meters from the wind farm’s substation. Consequently, there was no need to add a new transmission line.
Investments and benefits
The project represents a $300-million investment, of which over $45 million was spent in Montérégie.
Landowners who have allowed wind turbines on their property will share $600,000 annually, while the municipalities will receive $250,000 per year over twenty years, even though no utilities will be used.
Over 150 direct jobs were created during the wind farm’s construction phase, and 8 to 10 permanent jobs have been created for the duration of the 20-year operating phase.
Construction started in August 2011, and the wind farm was commissioned in December 2012.
Social acceptance
Kruger Energy held 25 public information sessions in the municipalities between 2008 and 2011, and answered almost 200 questions, which were subsequently
Kruger Energy has made several adjustments to address citizens’ concerns, including:
Selecting a gearbox-free (direct drive) wind turbine to minimize noise.
Reducing the number of wind turbines from 50 to 44.
Increasing the distance between the wind turbines and the nearest homes to at least 750 m (the average is 1 km).