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Plan accepted for “Canada’s largest” wind farm

Landowners in southeastern Manitoba can expect to earn $70 million in land lease payments over the life of what’s being touted as the largest single wind power project in Canada.

Crown power utility Manitoba Hydro announced Monday it has accepted a proposal from Babcock and Brown Canada to develop a 300-megawatt wind farm at St. Joseph, Man., about 85 km south of Winnipeg.

The $800 million project, scheduled for construction starting next year and power generation as early as 2011, was chosen out of 84 proposals received in its latest RFP, the utility said in a provincial release Monday.

The project is to generate electricity from 130 turbines and displace 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of 145,000 cars’ GHG production.

Manitoba Hydro said it will buy wind-generated power as part of a proposed 25-year agreement with Babcock and Brown’s North American energy group, which has stakes in more than 20 wind farms across North America and will work on this project with Calgary-based wind developer BowArk Energy.

The project will be about three times bigger in terms of generation capacity compared to Manitoba’s 99-MW wind farm, which started generating power in mid-2006 at St. Leon, about 90 km south of Portage la Prairie. The St. Leon facility has a similar 25-year agreement with Manitoba Hydro.

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