Cypress County council started their afternoon proceedings of their Feb. 19 meeting by listening to representatives from the EDF renewables on their progress and plan moving forward on a local wind project.
The 200 megawatt EDF Renewables Cypress Wind Power Project that is in the works of being built 20 Km SE of Dunmore was announced in December and representatives will have local permits submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission by the spring.
“We hope to submit in March (or) April to Environment and Parks and probably slightly later to the Alberta Utilities Commission,”said Mark Gallagher, development manager for EDF Renewables.
“Then we would hope we would have our permits by the end of the year.”
Landowner interaction has been positive.
“Most people if they’re not signed with us, are signed with one or two other developers,” said Gallagher.
“There is a real recommendation that this is an extra source of revenue for them. Crops can fail and you don’t have that guaranteed revenue. Whereas with the wind turbines, you have that guaranteed revenue every year for the next 20 years.”
The construction of the wind turbine will have minimal impact on farming operations, he added.
“We work with them to make sure the roads are flushed to the ground. We’re sympathetic to their agricultural practices.”
Location of the project was chosen because the natural resource of wind in the southeastern region.
“The Cypress Hills are the highest part of mainland Canada east of the Rockies,” said Gallagher.
“The higher you go, the higher the wind speeds and flat open agricultural land.”
The local benefits from the company will include $250 million in investments, 250 jobs at peak construction with 10 permanent positions, contract opportunities for local businesses and suppliers, local investments into hospitality and constructions services during development, operation and construction phases.
Cypress County will see millions of dollars in tax revenues on a long-term basis and the EDF RC will be contributing around $250,000 through the Community Benefits Fund to the county.
Construction is expected to commence in 2020 and being in full operation by 2021.