TransAlta profits, plans wind farm

Power generator TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) has reported a first-quarter net profit of $42 million, up from $33 million a year earlier, although earnings excluding one-time factors declined to $36 million from $99 million as electricity output sagged eight per cent.

Power generator TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) has reported a first-quarter net profit of $42 million, up from $33 million a year earlier, although earnings excluding one-time factors declined to $36 million from $99 million as electricity output sagged eight per cent.

TransAlta also announced Tuesday it plans to spend $135 million on a 72-megawatt wind power project near Fort Macleod in southern Alberta.

Construction of the Ardenville wind farm is to start early next year, with commercial operation expected in early 2011.

The Ardenville wind project, budgeted to cost $1,875 per kilowatt, involves construction of 23 three-megawatt turbines and the acquisition of an existing three-megawatt machine.

The total capacity of 72 megawatts is described as sufficient to power approximately 28,000 homes.

“Ardenville is an excellent wind project with returns that exceed our hurdle rate and a relatively fast payback period,” Snyder stated.

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