EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and Enbridge Inc. dedicated the 300 MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project. Located in Vulcan County, Alberta, the project is the largest investment in wind energy in Western Canada.
EDF EN Canada and Enbridge officials joined Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen, Derrick Annable, Reeve of Vulcan County, Kym Nichols, Mayor of Carmangay, and more than 100 other invited guests to mark the occasion.
Construction of the 166 turbine project commenced in May 2013 and reached commercial operation in May 2014. Mortenson Canada served as the construction contractor. With an investment of about $0.6 billion, Blackspring Ridge generates enough clean energy to meet the electricity needs of about 140,000 Albertan homes.
“The Blackspring Ridge project is a joint effort between industry and government that demonstrates Alberta’s commitment to renewable energy development,” said Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen. “The Government of Alberta is proud to support state-of-the-art projects, like Blackspring Ridge, as we work together to green the grid in Alberta.”
The construction of this project has been added local jobs for the community, leading an economic growth. When starts operation, the project will provide another 20 permanent operation and maintenance jobs.
“A project of this magnitude comes as a result of a dedicated team of professionals and the support and involvement of the local communities,” said Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF EN North America. “We want to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the development, engineering, construction and commissioning teams who rose to the challenge, building a project of this size in almost a year by the day and there, for the first project of EDF EN in Western Canada, set a new standard for being ahead of schedule, and on budget.”
“The successful completion of Blackspring Ridge is the result of strong support by the local communities, municipality and provincial government, along with outstanding teamwork by Enbridge, EDF EN Canada and our partners,” said Enbridge Chief Financial Officer Richard Bird. “Enbridge has been investing in Alberta’s energy infrastructure for over 60 years, and we’re proud to continue building strong relationships and expanding Alberta’s renewable power supply through this investment. As a leader in renewable power generation, Enbridge continues to invest in a diversified, less carbon-intensive energy mix to help meet future demand while considering our impact on the environment.
Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ Sales and Service Division, was one of the guest of the occasion. He said: “Vestas kicked off its long commitment to Canada back in 1997, and Blackspring Ridge is our largest Canadian effort to date.”
As part of the dedication ceremony, the inaugural recipients of the Blackspring Ridge Community Project Fund program were recognized and presented with cheques. The funding partners--Enbridge, EDF EN Canada, and Vestas--instituted the five-year program this spring based on the shared belief that being responsible in business also means being responsible to the community that hosts our energy projects. In total, nearly $20,000 was awarded to eight local organizations: Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation, Carmangay District Historical Society, Champion Fire Department, Public School Betterment Society of Picture Butte, Rainbow Literacy Society, Village of Carmangay Library Board Society, Village of Milo, and the Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society.
The Alberta-based Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation committed $10 million in support of the Blackspring Ridge project. The CCEMC provides funding for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Alberta adapt to climate change. Additionally, Blackspring Ridge further helps Enbridge meet its Neutral Footprint commitment to generate a kilowatt of renewable energy for every additional kilowatt of conventional electricity that the company’s operations consume.