Thames River wind power project in Ontario

Since this spring, four out of nine wind farms on the Thames River project in the Canadian province of Ontario have been connected to the grid.

At the other five wind farm sites – in South Side, North Malden, Naylor, Gracey and Richardson – ENERCON installation teams are working full speed as these sites are expected to go into operation before the end of this year.

Each wind farm comprises five E-82/2.0 MW wind turbines. These wind turbines will be erected using single blade installation method. “Our teams are made up of two employees from international ENERCON Support teams and six to eight workers from Ontario,” reports Marc-Antoine Renaud, Business & Development Manager from ENERCON Canada in Montreal.

The first team assembles the wind turbine without the rotor blades and the second team mounts the blades. Operator of the Thames River wind energy project is Boralex Inc., based in Kingsley Falls, Québec.

The company has an installed capacity of over 400 MW of renewable energies – hydro, biomass and wind energy – in operation at 29 sites in Canada, the US, and France. There, the company has already acquired several wind farms with ENERCON wind turbines.

In addition, Boralex is launching construction of a 262 MW wind farm in Québec in 2013, also with ENERCON wind turbines. “The biggest challenge though for the Thames River wind farm was to deal with the soil (clay) during construction. As a solution to this, the foundations have 35 meter deep piles,” reports Patricia Lemaire, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Boralex.

“ENERCON is supervising the construction of Thames River project I+II, and does maintenance with EPK,” says Renaud. Produced electricity will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under the advanced Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) at 11.5 Cents per kilowatt-hour.

Recently the province introduced a renewable energy program – Green Energy Act – with a feed-in tariff of 13 Canadian cents per kilowatt-hour.

The province’s target for wind energy is to have 4,600 MW of newly installed capacity by 2020. “Right now, Ontario has set up a third of
this. Therefore, every year 200 to 300 MW of wind power will have to be added.”