Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/11/2009 (3783 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
At a hearing at the Manitoba Legislature Tuesday night, Manitoba Hydro boss Bob Brennan revealed the wind farm near St. Joseph will produce only 138 megawatts instead of 300 megawatts.
That means it won't be anywhere close to the biggest wind farm in Canada, as former premier Gary Doer promised a year ago. It also means far less revenue for rural municipalities and landowners in southern Manitoba where the turbines will be installed. The province is a whopping 763 megawatts away from meeting its goal of 1,000 megawatts of wind in five years.
More than a year ago, Hydro chose Australian mega-firm Babcock & Brown to build the province's second wind farm, despite warnings the company was faltering financially. The company beat out 83 other bids, but soon sold off its North American wind division to another company, Pattern Energy.
Since then, Hydro has moved at a snail's pace on the St. Joseph project and has made no move to tender more wind farms.
Brennan said a power purchase agreement with Pattern Energy is "virtually complete."
Advocates say wind is a perfect complement to Manitoba's water power and makes exports even more attractive to American customers. But critics say wind will always be more expensive in the long term than hydro power and could cause rates to rise if it's not developed the right way.