We have been assessing the feasibility of wind power since the early 1990s.
Wind power is a clean and renewable energy technology generated most commonly through the use of a turbine mounted on a tower. In the presence of sufficient wind, the blades on the turbine will spin causing the drive shaft to turn, and the generator to produce electricity. Wind power can be generated on a large scale, like a wind farm, or on a small scale for residential, commercial and remote applications.
Wind is intermittent and non-dispatchable, meaning it cannot be relied upon to produce electricity when needed. Other dispatchable sources of generation such as hydro, thermal, etc., are required to back-up wind generation when the wind is reduced or not available.
This results in wind power (intermittent power) having a lower commercial value than generation resources that are firm or dispatchable (like hydro or thermal).
Economics of wind power
For a large utility-based wind farm, the installed wind generation cost is approximately $2,000/kW (2007 CDN$). For a small wind system, the installed cost is about $5,500/kW (2007 CDN$). Small wind systems are currently too expensive to see large market penetration.
St. Leon wind farm
- Manitoba’s first wind farm.
- Construction completed in 2006. At that time, it was one of the largest wind farms in Canada.
- 63 wind turbines.
- 93-square kilometre area in St. Leon, Manitoba.
- Capable of delivering 99 MW.
- Each turbine stands 80 metres tall.
We have a power purchase agreement with St. Leon Wind Energy, LP for the corporation to purchase wind power from St. Leon for up to 25 years.
- March 10, 2006 - St. Leon celebrates 99-megawatt harvest with 63 turbines constructed.
- April 28, 2005 - Southern Manitoba farmers set to harvest province’s first wind crop.
- November 24, 2004 - Manitoba harnesses wind power with first wind farm to be built near St. Leon.
St. Joseph wind farm
- Manitoba’s second wind farm.
- Construction completed in 2011. (In 2010, it was the largest wind farm built in Canada.)
- 60 wind turbines.
- 125-square kilometre area in St. Joseph, Manitoba.
- Capable of delivering 138 MW.
Manitoba Hydro has a power purchase agreement with Pattern Energy for the corporation to purchase wind power for up to 27 years. St. Joseph Wind Farm will generate enough power to meet the needs of 50,000 homes. The total cost of the wind farm is estimated to be about $345 million.
- January 11, 2011 - Manitoba’s Largest Wind Farm Powers Up.