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Transmission capacity creates moratorium on wind power

"I think that if they want to get something going, they could do a partial lifting of the orange zone and allow the capacity that is available today to be produced by wind energy," Estill said in a recent interview. "If there's a problem with any of the nuclear units, as there often is, or if the refurbishment is started on another nuclear unit, to me, it's pretty darn good odds that not everything is going to be producing at the same time and they would be able to use the existing [transmission] capacity," Estill said.

The province should restart delayed wind developments sooner rather than later, says Glen Estill of Sky Generation Ltd.

He has three large wind turbines in the Lion's Head area of northern Bruce County and a group of six turbines at Ravenswood in the Grand Bend area of Huron County. He has plans for further development but none of it within restricted areas of Grey and Bruce, an area he refers to as "the orange zone."

"I think that if they want to get something going, they could do a partial lifting of the orange zone and allow the capacity that is available today to be produced by wind energy," Estill said in a recent interview. "If there's a problem with any of the nuclear units, as there often is, or if the refurbishment is started on another nuclear unit, to me, it's pretty darn good odds that not everything is going to be producing at the same time and they would be able to use the existing [transmission] capacity," Estill said.

Tight finances, current limits on electrical transmission capacity and continuing problems with federal energy policy have created an effective moratorium on new wind power developments in the Bruce and Grey County region.

Despite the moratorium, Bruce County... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The province should restart delayed wind developments sooner rather than later, says Glen Estill of Sky Generation Ltd.

He has three large wind turbines in the Lion's Head area of northern Bruce County and a group of six turbines at Ravenswood in the Grand Bend area of Huron County. He has plans for further development but none of it within restricted areas of Grey and Bruce, an area he refers to as "the orange zone."

"I think that if they want to get something going, they could do a partial lifting of the orange zone and allow the capacity that is available today to be produced by wind energy," Estill said in a recent interview. "If there's a problem with any of the nuclear units, as there often is, or if the refurbishment is started on another nuclear unit, to me, it's pretty darn good odds that not everything is going to be producing at the same time and they would be able to use the existing [transmission] capacity," Estill said.

Tight finances, current limits on electrical transmission capacity and continuing problems with federal energy policy have created an effective moratorium on new wind power developments in the Bruce and Grey County region.

Despite the moratorium, Bruce County is home to major wind power generation. Since late 2007, Suncor Energy and the Spanish, wind development firm, Acciona, have operated a joint venture, 76 megawatt wind farm near Ripley. It uses 38, two megawatt turbines to provide enough energy to power 24,000 homes.

The natural gas and crude oil pipeline distribution company, Enbridge, began generating electricity from its 190 megawatt, Kincardine-area wind farm in late 2008. Construction was complete by year end and commissioning had begun on the 110 turbine installation, Enbridge's first wind project in Ontario, general manager Bob Simpson said in an early February interview.

Simpson was expecting full production by late February and a chance for him to learn more about electricity production with wind after a long career in oil and gas production, he said. He expects to stay on to supervise the project's production phase.

In addition to a general manager, the Enbridge operation's Kincardine office will include two administrative staff and a field staff of three people to deal with electrical, turbine and operations issues, respectively. As well, Enbridge will contract for regular turbine maintenance with the existing Vestas services company established near Kincardine to handle the growing fleet of Vestas turbines in the area.

What bothers Estill is the certainty that wind power could make greater contributions to regional development by enhancing government policy to match leading renewable energy jurisdictions such as Germany and the U. S. state of California.

Both Estill and Canadian Wind Energy Association president Robert Hornung expressed deep disappointment in the January, federal budget for failing to fund continuing support for renewable energy production. Recent U. S. government moves have enhanced a production tax credit for renewable energy while Canada appears to have abandoned its existing Eco- Energy grant program, Estill said.

"Good god, guys, you're talking about infrastructure spending and the big buzz word is you've gotta be shovel ready. Well, great, why don't you take a bunch of shovel ready wind projects, and pull the plug on them," he said.

"I was rather disgusted," Estill said of the recent federal budget. "They get $1 billion for carbon sequestration and $350 million for Atomic Energy of Canada, our perpetual bottomless pit, and they pull the plug on the wind business."

Estill has some hopes for pending changes in Ontario government policy. In a Feb. 3 speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty promised a new Green Energy Act that will result in 50,000 new jobs. The province has already added 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy since 2003 and claims a quarter of the province's energy supply now comes from renewable sources.

Estill has plans and permits for three additional turbines in the Ravenswood area. However, the financial crisis that started in late 2008 has boosted the cost of borrowing. Changes in government energy pricing policy to take account of actual development costs could improve the chances his project will proceed, Estill said.

"Get the price at a level that make sense to install solar and wind; that's the sort of thing that has developed 200,000 more jobs in Germany in the green energy sector," Estill said.


Source: http://www.owensoundsuntime...

FEB 25 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19248-transmission-capacity-creates-moratorium-on-wind-power
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