Ensuring accuracy

Dear Editor,

I’m contacting you regarding the story published Nov. 22, pg. 6, ‘Delia draws wind energy attention’.

As the developer of the Hands Hills Wind Project, BluEarth is excited to be part of the development of wind energy in Alberta, which is currently the lowest-cost source of new electricity in the province.

Alberta has a long and successful history with wind energy, as we were the first province to develop commercial wind energy and have been leaders in development ever since, with over 900 operating wind turbines in Alberta today.

The Hand Hills Wind Project will provide stable income for farmers and landowners from land lease agreements, and is compatible with farming, leading to increased diversification of the economy.

In addition, the construction of the project would result in 100,000 person hours, 4-5 full-time operator positions and provide an estimated average tax revenue of over $850,000 per year over the life of the project.

I also wanted to clarify a few details included in your article to ensure accuracy.

Paragraph 2/3: Joss Wind Power Inc. was the developer of the 78.2 Megawatt (MW) Wind Power project and substation southeast of Delia under the project name Hand Hills Wind Power Project. In 2012, BluEarth Renewables acquired the wind project from Joss Wind Power Inc.

Paragraph 4: Amendments to the project have been made as a result of significant technological advances since the Project was originally permitted, and to optimize the site and available resource.

Paragraph 8: As of October, 29 turbines are expected to be constructed. This number has been reduced from 34 as a result of the change in wind turbine model, due to significant technological advances since the Project was originally permitted. In addition, with these more efficient wind turbines, the project capacity will be increased to 130 MW.

Paragraph 12: In support of our Alberta Utilities Commission amendment, BluEarth consulted with Alberta Environment and Parks to determine the scope of environmental studies required. These studies were completed by a third party environmental consultant, and the results were provided to Alberta Environment and Parks for review.

Paragraph 13: The studies conducted throughout 2017 and 2018 focused on habitat mapping, avian spring and fall migrations, sharp-tailed grouse, breeding birds, burrowing owls, bat migration, raptor nests, wetlands, and rare plants. Additional studies will continue into 2019 and post-construction of the project.

Paragraph 18: As a standard requirement of an Alberta Utilities Commission permit, BluEarth will be required to conduct three years of post-construction monitoring to determine fatality rates.

 

Erin Roberts, Bluearth Renewables Inc.

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