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Two wind farms put on hold indefinitely

Two major wind energy projects in New Brunswick have been put on hold indefinitely, putting a wrench in NB Power's plans to use significantly more wind energy by 2010. ..."It has made liquidity for capital projects scarce," said Eric Schneider, a spokesman for the company. Schneider said that it's "far more expensive to build and get financing in the market situation we're dealing with right now."

Energy NB Power's goal of purchasing more renewable energy may be unattainable

FREDERICTON - Two major wind energy projects in New Brunswick have been put on hold indefinitely, putting a wrench in NB Power's plans to use significantly more wind energy by 2010.

Acciona Wind Energy Canada Inc., the company behind projects in Lamèque and Aulac, is blaming the delay on the global economic downturn.

"It has made liquidity for capital projects scarce," said Eric Schneider, a spokesman for the company. Schneider said that it's "far more expensive to build and get financing in the market situation we're dealing with right now."

Acciona Energy is a global company with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. It has a stake in 150 wind farms in 13 countries, representing over 4,565 megawatts of wind power.

When the contracts were announced last January, Acciona estimated it would spend about $225 million in the two projects. The two wind farms were to produce 114 megawatts of wind energy, which is enough to power roughly 18,000 homes, by the end of 2009. They were also supposed to create between 100 and 150 jobs, with several hundred more created indirectly.

Schneider said the company would complete the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Energy NB Power's goal of purchasing more renewable energy may be unattainable

FREDERICTON - Two major wind energy projects in New Brunswick have been put on hold indefinitely, putting a wrench in NB Power's plans to use significantly more wind energy by 2010.

Acciona Wind Energy Canada Inc., the company behind projects in Lamèque and Aulac, is blaming the delay on the global economic downturn.

"It has made liquidity for capital projects scarce," said Eric Schneider, a spokesman for the company. Schneider said that it's "far more expensive to build and get financing in the market situation we're dealing with right now."

Acciona Energy is a global company with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. It has a stake in 150 wind farms in 13 countries, representing over 4,565 megawatts of wind power.

When the contracts were announced last January, Acciona estimated it would spend about $225 million in the two projects. The two wind farms were to produce 114 megawatts of wind energy, which is enough to power roughly 18,000 homes, by the end of 2009. They were also supposed to create between 100 and 150 jobs, with several hundred more created indirectly.

Schneider said the company would complete the permitting process and pre-construction work at the two sites, but that construction of the wind farm would likely not be completed by the original target date of fall 2009.

He said the two New Brunswick projects had the misfortune of requiring financing last fall, when it was most scarce. By contrast, two other Accacia projects in the United States that began a year earlier are now nearing completion, he said.

The Liberal government recently set the objective for NB Power to purchase 10 per cent of its electricity from new renewable sources by 2010. That objective now appears unattainable.

Acciona's struggles are part of a larger problem facing renewable energy companies.

According to market researcher Emerging Energy Research, there will be a 14 per cent increase in wind projects in 2009. That is less than half the typical annual growth rate seen over the last decade. Financing costs, which are a critical element in the capital-intensive sector, have skyrocketed as banks cut back on lending.

But Jean-Francois Nolet, Atlantic Canada policy manager for the industry group Canadian Wind Energy Association, said that wind projects have been no more aversely affected by the downturn than other sectors. He said in the long-term, wind power will remain a strong growth sector as renewable energy grows in importance.

In addition to the projects in Lamèque and Aulac, New Brunswick has one wind farm already in operation and another in the works. A 96-megawatt wind farm at Kent Hills began pumping power into the grid on New Year's Eve.

Another project, in the Caribou Mountain area, is supposed to be under construction by the end of 2009.

Despite the setback with Acciona, NB Power spokeswoman Heather MacLean said the Crown corporation is still committed to purchasing more renewable energy.

Referring to Acciona, Maclean said: "We know that they have some challenges, and it's our understanding that they are working through them."

MacLean said it was premature to speculate on whether the Crown corporation would be unable to meet its goal of 400 megawatts by 2010. She pointed out that NB Power's original goal was to have that amount in place by 2016.

"We're still working towards our goal," she said.


Source: http://telegraphjournal.can...

MAR 20 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19473-two-wind-farms-put-on-hold-indefinitely
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