Wind power generating more than electricity

A California utility company will pay an Alberta-based electrical generator a hefty reward for being green.

A California utility company will pay an Alberta-based electrical generator a hefty reward for being green.

Greengate Power Corp., based in Calgary, is ready to start construction on the first phases of its wind farms at Halkirk and Lethbridge. Together, the two sites will have a total generating capacity of 450 megawatt hours, president and CEO Dan Balaban said on Thursday.

Balaban announced Greengate has received approval to sell renewable energy credits that its wind farms will earn from the California Public Utilities Commission.

The regulator has approved a deal to let Greengate sell credits for 450 mWhs of renewable energy to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company at a fixed price for 20 years.

California issues the credits in its capacity as a member of the utility pool covering the western provinces and northwestern states, said Balaban.

The state currently requires that 20 per cent of all electricity come from renewable sources and has started ramping that rate up to 33 per cent, he said.

The income from selling the credits will be a significant addition to Greengate’s revenues, said Balaban. That income will be an addition to the revenue Greengate will receive from selling electricity into Alberta’s power grid, said Balaban.

He did not divulge the actual value of his company’s deal with Pacific Gas and Electric, but said it will contribute to his company’s efforts to boost its presence in Alberta.

While the Halkirk and Lethbridge projects are fully permitted and ready to build, Greengate is still working on permits at additional sites, including Ponoka, Radar Hill near Red Deer and Chigwell, east of Lacombe.

Local benefits from the wind farms, including the sale of renewable energy credits, will include Greengate’s contributions to the economy along with the benefits of having an energy source that is free of emissions, said Balaban.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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