Released on September 20, 2018
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan has approved a large-scale wind energy project in the province. This is the first large-scale wind energy project approved under The Environmental Assessment Act. Located south of Herbert, the Blue Hill Wind Energy Project will be developed and operated by Algonquin Power Co. (a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.) and is expected to include up to 56 wind turbinesThe turbines will add 177 megawatts of wind energy for SaskPower customers – enough energy to power more than 70,000 average Saskatchewan homes. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2019, with possible service as early as 2021.
The project site is located outside of the avoidance zones identified in the Wildlife Siting Guidelines for Saskatchewan Wind Energy Projects. Algonquin selected this location on cultivated agricultural land in order to avoid impacting native prairie grassland and important wildlife habitat. The company also conducted rigorous wildlife surveys as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and has proposed appropriate mitigation to reduce potential impacts to migratory birds, bats and habitat.Those mitigation measures include:
“Algonquin has made extensive efforts to ensure the project meets or exceeds the needs of stakeholders,” Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ian Robertson said. “We look forward to continuing this work as we transition to the next phase of the project.”
Throughout the EIA, Algonquin engaged with stakeholders, including local communities and environmental non-governmental organizations, in order to provide information about the project to address any concerns.
A copy of the Blue Hill Wind Energy Project decision can be found at www.publications.gov.sk.ca/deplist.cfm?d=66&c=5187.
The Adaptive Management Guidelines for Saskatchewan Wind Energy Projects can be found at http://www.publications.gov.sk.ca/details.cfm?p=90235.
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