The oldest commercial wind power facility in Canada has been shut down and faces demolition after 23 years of transforming brisk southern Alberta breezes into electricity — and its owner says building a replacement depends on the next moves of the provincial NDP government.
TransAlta Corp. said Tuesday the blades on 57 turbines at its Cowley Ridge facility near Pincher Creek have already been halted and the towers are to be toppled and recycled for scrap metal this spring. The company inherited the now-obsolete facility, built between 1993 and 1994, as part of its $1.6-billion hostile takeover of Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. in 2009.
“TransAlta is very interested in repowering this site. Unfortunately, right now, it’s not economically feasible,” Wayne Oliver, operations supervisor for TransAlta’s wind operations in Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod, said in an interview
Commentary is worth reading:
“This has little to do with whether the site has given a ROI since its constructions, it is an asset stripping manoeuvre. No more.”
Still though, it would appear that the installation must have a scrap value higher than it’s value as an operating electricity generator. It appears that no one wants to step up and buy the facility at what would presumably be a bargain basement price. (Actually, this looks more like extortion than looting — nice wind farm your province used to have there, be a shame if something happened to it)."