Box Springs Wind Farm
Box Springs Wind Farm
The Box Springs Wind Farm will be a three-turbine, six-megawatt wind farm to be erected in the Box Springs area of the City of Medicine Hat. The wind farm is expected to be commissioned near the end of 2013.
The project will be undertaken as a result of a public-private partnership between the City of Medicine Hat and Box Springs Wind Corporation, a subsidiary of WindRiver Power Corporation.
The wind farm will produce about 16 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in an average year.
- Estimated to meet about 3% of City's electricity needs
- Will produce enough electricity to power 1,800 homes
- An estimated 10,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions will be avoided every year
- The City of Medicine Hat will purchase 20 years of wind power from the turbines
The wind turbines will be erected in the industrial area located in the northwest quadrant of the City of Medicine Hat. They will be on City-owned land east of Box Springs Rd. NW, south of 15 Ave. NW and north of 52 St. NW.
The turbines will be visible from the Transcanada Highway (Hwy. 1) and portions of the City of Medicine Hat.
A mock-up of the proposed Box Springs Wind Farm, as it would appear from north of the city's limits, outside the City's Brier Park Industrial area.
City Council voted to transfer the rights to the Box Springs Wind Farm to Box Springs Wind Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of WindRiver Power Corporation. Through the agreement, Box Springs Wind Corporation will construct a three-turbine, six-megawatt wind farm, selling all the electricity and carbon credits to the City of Medicine Hat annually for 20 years.
City Council voted to defer the Box Springs Wind Farm. The project was expected to cost about $25 million. Council instructed City staff to begin discussions with private industry regarding the purchase of wind power or public-private partnerships.
The Alberta Utilities Commission approved the City of Medicine Hat for a four-turbine, eight-megawatt wind farm.
The City responded to the Alberta Utility Commission's information requests and submitted required Environmental reports to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.
The City submitted its wind farm application to the Alberta Utility Commission for approval.
City Council approved the submission of an application to the Alberta Utilities Commission for permission to construct and operate a 16.5 Megawatt wind farm in the Box Springs area. The Alberta Utilities Commission approval process consists of:
- Environmental Approval - Alberta Fish & Wildlife (12 month environmental assessment required)
- Public Notice process (letters to area residents and property owners and an information Open House)
- Public Consultation (letter from Alberta Utilities Commission to industry participants)
- Alberta Electric System Operator technical approval
- Noise survey
- Independent Assessment (Electric Utility Act)
The initial Public Notice process was completed and included a public Open House that was hosted by the City on May 1 at the Family Leisure Centre with approximately 120 people in attendance.
Regulatory discussions were completed and a project development plan undertaken
City Council approved the next steps of the wind farm project:
- Determine provincial regulatory approval requirements
- Initiate a detailed project development plan for the wind farm project.
Preliminary data from the March 2006 report indicated the proposed location has the potential to support wind turbines with an output equivalent to 35,000 megawatt hours of electricity (this represents about 20% of the total annual residential electrical energy requirements for the City of Medicine Hat).
A wind monitoring tower was installed to gather data related to wind speed and consistency.