Cultivating more green energy in Wild Rose Country

Blackspring Ridge is Western Canada's largest wind farm

As Alberta continues to green the grid, Enbridge continues to cultivate its zero-emission investment.

Today, in Vulcan County, Alberta, Enbridge and project partner EDF EN Canada marked the grand opening of the Blackspring Ridge Wind Project – which, at 300 megawatts (MW) and 166 turbines, represents the largest wind farm in Western Canada.

A grand opening celebration was held with more than 100 invited guests – including Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen, Vulcan County reeve Derrick Annable, and mayor of Carmangay, Alta., Kym Nichols.

"The Blackspring Ridge project is a joint effort between industry and government that demonstrates Alberta’s commitment to renewable energy development,”says McQueen. “The Government of Alberta is proud to support state-of-the-art projects, like Blackspring Ridge, as we work together to green the grid in Alberta.”

The $0.6-billion project, which reached commercial operation in May, generates enough zero-emission energy to serve approximately 140,000 Albertan homes. Altogether, Enbridge’s renewable and alternative energy portfolio – including wind, solar, geothermal, and waste-heat recovery – now represents an investment of nearly $3.5-billion, with the capacity to generate more than 1,800 MW of clean energy and supply nearly 600,000 homes with electricity.

Enbridge is the largest solar energy generator, and the second-largest wind energy generator, in Canada.

The Blackspring Ridge wind farm also provides significant economic benefits to Vulcan County, says Nichols.

“Our community is very proud to be a part of such an important renewable energy project,” says Nichols. “There are tremendous economic benefits to our community – including the more than 350 jobs that were created during construction, and another 20 permanent operations and maintenance jobs.”

Speaking of greening Alberta’s grid, Enbridge has a 33-per-cent interest in two other wind farms in Wild Rose Country – the Chin Chute and Magrath wind projects near Lethbridge, each of which have 20 turbines and possess an energy generation capacity of 30 MW.

“The successful completion of Blackspring Ridge is the result of strong support by the local communities, municipality, and provincial government, along with outstanding teamwork by Enbridge, EDF EN Canada, and our partners,” says Enbridge Chief Financial Officer Richard Bird.

“Enbridge has been investing in Alberta’s energy infrastructure for over 60 years, and we’re proud to continue building strong relationships and expanding Alberta’s renewable power supply through this investment," adds Bird. "As a leader in renewable power generation, Enbridge continues to invest in a diversified, less carbon-intensive energy mix to help meet future demand while considering our impact on the environment."

Enbridge and EDF EN Canada have forged a productive business relationship in recent years.

Prior to Tuesday’s official launch of Blackspring Ridge, the two companies had commissioned three jointly owned wind projects in Quebec since October 2012 – Saint-Robert-Bellarmin (80 MW), Massif du Sud (150 MW), and Lac-Alfred (300 MW)