Newfoundland and Labrador has a world-class wind resource. Currently, the
islandís electrical system is isolated from the North American grid and has an
existing generating capacity of 1,919 MW provided by approximately 65 per cent
hydroelectric and 35 per cent fossil fuel generation. Hydro, as part of its
2005 mandate and portfolio expansion, is looking at wind as a cleaner renewable
alternative to oil-fired energy. In December 2005, Hydro issued a Request for
Proposals (RFP) for 25 MW of wind generation. Replies to the RFP will be
reviewed and evaluated during the fall of 2006. If an acceptable agreement with
a proponent can be reached, the benefit will be two-fold: clean, cost-effective
energy from wind and potential fuel displacement from oil-fired generation.
Hydro continued purchasing wind generation at one of its rural isolated diesel
generating sites in 2005. For over a year, as part of a pilot project, Hydro
has been purchasing power from the provinceís first wind-diesel demonstration
project in Ramea, an isolated community off the southwest coast of the island.
The focus for the project is the development of medium penetration wind-diesel
systems that combine the use of diesel powered generators with wind turbines.
Six, 65 kilowatt (KW) wind turbines totalling 390 KW are installed. Current
production estimates show that Hydro can offset approximately 200,000 litres of
diesel fuel annually with wind generation at Ramea. In 2005, the first full
year of operation, the project produced 418,000 kilowatt hours and provided 10
per cent of Rameaís energy needs.
This project is being supported by the Government of Canadaís Technology Early
Actions Measures (TEAM) Program. TEAM is an interdepartmental technology
investment program established under the federal governmentís Climate Change
Action Plan. TEAM financing and federal technical support has enabled major
demonstrations of potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reducing technologies in
communities across Canada. Information about Ramea Wind-Diesel Demonstration
Project and video can be found on the
Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM)
In 2005, Hydro signed a power purchase agreement with a private developer who
wishes to build a wind farm at St. Brendanís, another rural isolated diesel
generating site on the islandís northeast coast. A decision by the developer to
move forward is still pending.