Workers are beginning to build the K2 Wind Power Project (K2 Wind), which broke ground today following the successful completion of an $850 million financing, which was secured with 15 financial institutions in the form of a construction loan that will convert to long-term operational debt. Located in Goderich, the 270 megawatt (MW) wind power project is hiring local workers and using Ontario-made products, including 140 wind turbine towers made in Windsor and blades manufactured in Tillsonburg.
Long-time local resident Randy Maize is now part of the K2 Wind construction team, working as the Drainage Tile Superintendent for AMEC Black & McDonald. The resident of Port Albert was one of many who attended the K2 Wind job fair in February. "I've lived in this area my entire life and I'm really happy to offer my expertise to K2 Wind," said Randy. "I'll be responsible for developing proper drainage, which helps avoid flooding and means farmers can get out into their fields as soon as possible."
Local dairy farmers Jennifer and Don Miltenburg will be hosting a turbine on their farm. While acknowledging the importance of lease revenue from the project for their farming operation, she is truly inspired by the prospect of more environmentally sound power for Ontario. "K2 Wind has bent over backwards to work closely with us and all of the landowners, both in the planning and lease agreements," said Jennifer. "I am personally really proud to have a wind turbine on my land. To me it represents the direction that we all need to be heading, toward greener sources of power."
As the project gears up, workers have already rented more than two dozen apartments and homes in Goderich, and employees are helping to boost the local economy as they shop in the area. In total, more than 1,000 workers from across southwestern Ontario will be involved in the manufacturing and assembly of the wind turbines, as well as site construction and operations.
Once operational in the second half of 2015, K2 Wind will generate clean power for approximately 100,000 Ontario homes each year. The Project will create approximately 18 to 24 permanent full-time positions, generating about $1.5 million of employment income annually. K2 Wind is being developed jointly by Samsung Renewable Energy, Inc. (Samsung), Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) and Capital Power LP (Capital Power).
"K2 is our third wind project in Ontario to start construction, bringing a total of 690 MW of new wind energy to the Province," said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. "K2 embodies Pattern Development's continued commitment to delivering world-class projects in a responsible way and is particularly exciting because we are hiring locally and using blades and towers made here in Ontario. We're proud to be part of Ontario's commitment to green energy."
"Samsung is proud to be working with the community and our partners on the construction of this project," said Mr. K.J. Kim, Senior Vice President, Samsung C&T. "The K2 Wind project will create thousands of high-skilled jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues and community benefits that will benefit real people in the community."
"K2 Wind will be an important addition to Ontario's renewable energy fleet, with 270 MWs of clean power generation being built in one of Ontario's key wind areas," said Paul Wendelgass, Project Lead for Capital Power. "The project team has worked diligently to plan the project with the highest attention to environmental performance. We engaged local residents and stakeholders throughout the process, and are implementing a number of approaches to share project benefits with the larger community."
K2 Wind is a strong supporter of the local community and has created a Community Benefits Fund Agreement with the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh to deliver approximately $15 million in funding for community initiatives over the next 20 years.
Recently, the Project contributed $20,000 to the Alexandra Marine & General Hospital Foundation in Goderich in support of the Foundation's efforts to purchase new anesthesia machines for the Operating Rooms at the hospital. "The Hospital is truly grateful for K2 Wind's donation," said Andy Moore, Executive Director Fundraising, "We rely on the generous support of our community to fund our patient care equipment, tools and technology each year. The entire community benefits when our local hospital can continually improve its state-of-the-art care equipment."
The Project has also supported a number of community initiatives, including Canada Blooms and the Easter Seals Snowarama, as well as a number of local school organizations, including Brookfield Public School playground, Lucknow and District Music in the Fields, Lucknow Community Splash Pad, St. Anne's Secondary School, and the YMCA Strong Kids Program.
K2 Wind will provide financial benefits to some 90 local farm families, who will collectively receive more than $3.2 million in annual revenue through land lease agreements and other benefits. In addition, K2 Wind's Community Renewable Energy Benefit will provide an annual payment of $1500 to the owner of any residence located within one kilometre of Project infrastructure during the Project's operation. More information about the Project is available at www.K2Wind.ca.