GDF SUEZ Completes New Brunswick’s Largest Wind Farm

GDF SUEZ has completed construction and achieved commercial operation at Caribou Wind Power Park, located 70 kilometers northwest of Bathurst, New Brunswick. The largest wind energy operation in the province, the 99 MW facility will provide all of its power to New Brunswick Power to fulfill a 20-year power purchase agreement with the utility.

"We have developed a strong partnership with GDF SUEZ, and all New Brunswickers will enjoy the benefits now that the facility is up and running," said David Hay, president & CEO of NB Power. "NB Power is focused on minimizing its environmental footprint through a number of initiatives such as diversifying our renewable portfolio."

Achieving commercial operation of Caribou Wind Park, which is GDF SUEZ’s first generation facility in New Brunswick, boosts the company’s North American renewable energy portfolio to 509 MW, more than 40 percent of which is wind powered generation. The company also owns and operates two wind farms, which hug the west and north capes of Prince Edward Island: West Cape Wind Farm, with a generation capacity of 99 MW, and Norway Wind Farm, which generates 9 MW. More than one third of GDF SUEZ’s power operations in North America are carbon-free or carbon-neutral facilities.

"Much of our success so far in the province can be attributed to the cooperation we have received through our partnerships with NB Power, leadership within the provincial and federal governments, and the expertise and professionalism of hundreds of local and regional contractors," explained Zin Smati, president & CEO of GDF SUEZ operations in North America. "We brought 51 MW on-line six weeks ahead of schedule, and we completed all construction to meet our power purchase agreement with NB Power well within the original deadline."

Producing enough electricity to supply as many as 30,000 homes, Caribou Wind Park, via New Brunswick Power, will provide power to about 2 percent of the electricity needs in the province.

GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. manages a range of energy businesses in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, including electricity generation and cogeneration, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution and sales, asset-based trading and origination, and retail energy sales and related services to commercial and industrial customers.

GDF SUEZ Energy North America owns and/or operates a total of 60 power, cogeneration, steam, and chilled-water facilities, including those in construction, representing a capacity of 7,486 MW of electricity generation, 6.0 million pounds per hour of steam, and 41,973 tons per hour of chilled water.

Renewable fuels – wind, hydro, and biomass – power 23 of the facilities in the portfolio, two of which are among the largest wind farms in eastern Canada. The company’s natural gas assets include an LNG receiving terminal in Everett, Massachusetts, which currently meets approximately 20 percent of New England’s annual gas demand; an offshore LNG import facility under construction off the coast of Massachusetts; and natural gas distribution networks and pipelines in Mexico that serve more than 375,000 customers. GDF SUEZ Energy North America is part of the international energy group, GDF SUEZ.

A longtime world leader in using sustainable energy sources to bring power to local communities, more than 40 percent of all of GDF SUEZ’s global electric generation capacity produces no carbon dioxide emissions, and another 50 percent produces very little.

Among its power generation assets, GDF SUEZ Energy North America manages 23 renewable facilities in wind, biomass, and hydro, with a generation capacity of almost 410 MW and an additional 99 MW of wind capacity in construction.

To further enhance its North American renewables position, GDF SUEZ acquired FirstLight Power Enterprises Inc. in late 2008. FirstLight owns and operates a collection of traditional hydro and pumped storage facilities in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

GDF SUEZ’s acquisition of Canadian wind developer Ventus Energy Inc. in late 2007 launched the company’s North American foray into wind power and brought to the company a portfolio of wind energy facilities and development projects in eastern Canada.

Two Canadian wind farms are in operation in the Prince Edward Island province and a third facility is under construction in New Brunswick, Canada, with completion projected at the end of 2009. GDF SUEZ is currently also pursuing 500 MW of wind energy development in Canada and in the United States.

In addition to its interests in hydro and wind, GDF SUEZ is North America’s third largest player in the biomass market segment of generating electricity from wood chips. The company operates biomass and biogas plants in the Northeast, Michigan, and Colorado.