Monday, April 26, 2010

Vestas in control in Saskatchewan

The Coloradan Newspaper is reporting that Vestas just confirmed an order from the Red Lily Wind Energy Partnership for 16 V82-1.65 MW wind turbines for the Red Lily Wind Project to be developed by Algonquin Power in southeastern Saskatchewan.

By closing this deal, Vestas continues to control the very windy and booming Saskatchewan market, with all utility-scale turbines in the province being manufactured by Vestas.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Mr. Jeremy van Loon of the news service Bloomberg, reporting on a presentation by PNE Wind AG, CEO Martin Billhardt, from a wind industry event in Warsaw, Poland stated in an article on the Bloomberg website early this morning the following:

- PNE Wind AG wants to increase the number of projects it is developing in the U.S. and Canada to about 2,500 megawatts in the next three to five years from 600 megawatts now. PNE is currently developing wind farms in North Dakota and South Dakota as well as in Saskatchewan.
- Mr. Billhardt reiterated a target for annual earnings before interest and taxes of at least 14 million euros (c.a. $18.8 million CAD) to 18 million euros (c.a. $24 million CAD) on average for the next three years.
- PNE Wind AG’s shares have risen 24 percent this year in Germany.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

$6.6 billion CAD, 900 mW hydro project to proceed in British Columbia

On April 19, 2010 the British Columbia provincial government announced plans to move forward with the proposed $6.6 billion CAD 900 megawatt Site C dam project on the Peace River in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The project is expected to generate 35,000 direct and indirect jobs, and is expected to come into service in 2020 — provided it passes independent environmental assessments by provincial and federal agencies, as well as gaining enough support from first nations to avert the risk of a protracted court challenge.

The project is of course subject to regulatory approvals and ensuring that the crown's constitutional duties to first nations are met. The regulatory reviews are expected to take about two years.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saskatchewan government provides funding for wind energy storage project

The Government of Saskatchewan in a recent press release noted that they are providing Go Green funding for a multi-year agreement with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to develop and demonstrate new wind energy storage technology.

"Through the Go Green Fund, we continue to support innovative approaches to environmental protection," Environment Minister Nancy Heppner said. "Investment in this technology will enhance Saskatchewan's leadership in renewable power technology development."

The project will harness wind energy at heights in the range of 70 to 90 metres above ground (turbines at SaskPower's existing wind farms are at heights of 65 metres). The potential benefits of high-level wind combined with the ability to store the energy and use it during low wind situations may significantly increase Saskatchewan's capacity to use wind resources.

"We're in the business of providing smart science solutions to meet industry's challenges and opportunities," SRC President and CEO Dr. Laurier Schramm said. "By working with the Cowessess First Nation and other partners to design, install and monitor a wind turbine and energy storage system, we will be helping a Saskatchewan community meet a current energy need while modelling a future wind energy solution."

The Ministry of Environment is contributing $1,394,000 through the Go Green Fund and the Cowessess First Nation will be matching that amount. The project will take place on land owned by the Cowessess First Nation, five kilometres southeast of Regina.

"Cowessess First Nation is committed to the development of green energy in the province," Cowessess First Nation Council Member Grady Lerat said. "As we all know the wind resource on the prairies, if harnessed, can become a viable alternative for the future. This initiative can resolve the variability of the wind resource in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Once proven, this development can be replicated in future wind farms."

The lack of cost-effective storage technologies for wind energy has been the biggest impediment for adoption of this renewable resource. The cost-effectiveness of wind energy storage technology is expected to be competitive with clean coal or clean natural gas technology.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Looking for financing for your renewable energy project?

CIBC is the first large Canadian bank to form an investment team focused solely on green energy and clean technology markets - a move that is likely to be followed by its rivals in Canada.

Industry followers note that CIBC's plan to aggressively pursue the market – including everything from solar and wind projects to water technologies to biochemical production – could strengthen the Canadian renewable energy and clean technology sector.

Assuming the rest of the big banks in Canada follow suit, they would be aligned with their American and European counterparts which already have such teams in place. Even though Canadian banks are late to the game, there are still incredible opportunities - Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that global expenditure on renewable energy projects alone will reach $150 billion (USD) in 2020, up from $90 billion USD in 2009. By 2030, the market could reach $200 billion USD.

Progressive provincial policies in Canada, including Ontario's Green Energy Act and FIT, B.C.'s carbon tax and Saskatchewan's forthcoming Climate Change Act, are creating a long pipeline of bankable renewable energy projects in Canada that will need billions of dollars in financing.

CIBC's move is timely and will likely be received well by the markets - the TSX announced recently that it will create a new clean technology index.