Calgary, Alberta, Canada, March 28, 2011 — TransAlta Corp. will expand its wind portfolio in Quebec by moving ahead with construction of the 66-MW New Richmond wind project located on the Gaspe Peninsula. The cost of the project is estimated at about $205 million.
New Richmond is contracted under a long-term 20-year power purchase agreement with Hydro-Quebec Distribution. TransAlta is working with ENERCON for the supply and installation of 33 E82 wind turbines and construction of the associated infrastructure. Commercial operations are expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"As a part of our wind growth strategy, the addition of the New Richmond project will increase our wind portfolio to 1,139 MW," said Steve Snyder, president and CEO. "Building our presence in a key market such as Quebec is an important part of our goal to enhance shareholder value, as well as strengthen our position as the premier wind power generator in Canada."
The decree for New Richmond was issued by the Quebec government this morning allowing TransAlta to begin pre-construction work in April. The decree also allows TransAlta to pursue the necessary certificates of approval from various provincial ministries.
Once completed, the New Richmond wind facility will produce enough energy to power about 10,500 Quebec homes and is expected to generate about 100 jobs during the development and construction phases.
TransAlta currently operates one wind facility in Quebec, the 99 MW Le Nordais wind facility, also located on the Gaspe Peninsula.
TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value.
TransAlta maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia.