BluEarth wins Alberta project delay

Calgary-based BluEarth Renewables has won approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for a four-year extension of the completion date for its proposed 78.2MW Hand Hills wind project to 31 December 2018.

As part of its prior approval for the fully permitted project, AUC had required it to be in full commercial operation by the end of this year.

BlueEarth sought the delay to allow ATCO Electric to obtain AUC approval to construct the transmission infrastructure between a connection with the Alberta Integrated Electrical System and the project in southern Alberta, BluEarth spokeswoman Ameera Shivji tells Recharge.

The AUC is withholding judgment on ATCO’s application pending the outcome of a separate proceeding dealing with overall transmission constraints and rights within the Canadian province.

“Essentially we cannot begin construction until we know that the transmission infrastructure will be constructed to tie in the facility to the AIES,” Shivji says, adding it will include a 34.5kV collector system.

The project will utilize 34 Siemens 2.3MW wind turbines.

A subsidiary of BluEarth acquired the project in early 2013 from developer Joss Wind Power, which had bought it from China’s Nexen the previous year.

BluEarth is developing three other wind projects – one each in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario – totaling about 223MW.