Re: “What tax revenue?,” in The Review, Aug. 29. On August 29, the editorial reported that the County of Paintearth was not receiving a fair deal from the tax revenue generated by Capital Power’s Halkirk Wind project located in the County.
There are a number of inaccuracies in the editorial on tax revenue that Capital Power wishes to clarify.
Firstly, the timing and the amount of our taxable payments to the County is established by provincial regulation. We have, and always will, follow these regulations. The anticipated amount of taxation going to local municipalities and local schools over the expected 25-year life of the project will be approximately $40 million.
The editorial questions about the timing of the start of operations of the Halkirk Wind project are misplaced.
The construction of a project the size of the 150 megawatt Halkirk Wind project – Alberta’s largest wind farm – is complex. This is particularly true in Alberta, where our short construction season frequently sees project work extended to late fall. In 2012, we encountered early spring rains which slowed construction activities.
Once we begin construction, our goal is to complete this work as quickly as possible. There is no incentive to delay and the suggestion that “there is a great economic incentive not to bring projects on line until after October 31st” is simply false. Ultimately, the project began commercial operation on December 1, 2012, ahead of schedule and under budget.
The editorial makes several inaccurate statements regarding the calculations of assessed values, particularly in regards to depreciation. In fact, we must follow the formulas established by Alberta Municipal Affairs and be prepared to submit to audits and verification by both the provincial government and the municipality.
Capital Power also made investments in upgrading existing roads in-order to safely handle heavy loads and approximately 30 kilometres of new roads were constructed for the project. Once construction was complete, the County of Paintearth was satisfied that the roads were left in as good or better condition than they were prior to construction.
As the editorial notes the project is creating economic and community benefits by way of establishing an on site office and permanent positions. In addition, Capital Power is also supporting local initiatives including the annual Bullarama, Castor and District Agricultural Society, Halkirk Centennial, Paintearth 4H Beef Club, Huber Dam Committee, Castor Minor Sports and the Halkirk Elks. Our goal is to be a part of this community, throughout the life of the project.
Halkirk Wind is now approaching its first full year of operation. Capital Power is proud to see that it has emerged as a great addition to Alberta’s fleet of renewable energy facilities and we anticipate many years of significant contributions to the local economy.
Senior Manager, Renewables
Editor’s note: The opinion piece was targeting the government regulations, not Capital Power.