Offshore wind farm on Lake Ontario: Huge potential

My story in today’s Toronto Star takes a look at plans by a local power developer that wants to build a 710-megawatt offshore wind farm in the middle of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto. Trillium Power Energy Corp. says the project, which has secured access to crown land, would cost more than $1 billion but could be complete by 2010 if it can get through its environmental assessment and negoatiate a power purchase deal with the Ontario Power Authority.

If this thing ever got built, it could end up being the largest wind farm in North America, and one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

The electricity produced would be sent to the mainland via underwater cable, which would connect to the Lennox oil/gas power plant located near Kingston. Apparently there’s enough high-voltage transmission at Lennox to carry the power back into Toronto and surrounding areas.

The project would consist of 142 turbines, meaning each turbine would be a massive 5 megawatts each. John Kourtoff, president of Trillium, told me they’ve studied 36 years of wind data on the site — about 15 kilometres offshore of Prince Edward County, near Belleville — and have determined the project would not affect bird migration pathways. The turbines would actually be placed in shallow waters, no deeper than 12 metres, so there would be no risk of collision by ships. The bases would provide a sanctuary for aquatic life and should lead to a repopulating of fish species, said Kourtoff.

Interesting project, and Ontario could certainly use the additional power.

3 thoughts on “Offshore wind farm on Lake Ontario: Huge potential”

  1. This is great news that has been brewing for some time. I am glad that private companies are finding wind energy viable. It really is showing the Canadian Government, and Hydro One that if they don’t; step up, others will, and that they should be more active in the field.

    Hopefully this project will not get caught up in red tape like so many others before it. A few more gigawatts of wind energy implementation would be a good start.

  2. I was extremely encouraged by your story Tyler and truly hope they build this wind farm. What kind of deal would they have with the province in terms of selling it back, though. My understanding is that the Ontario Standard Offer Program will buy wind-generated power for 11 centa/kWh — but only for projects that are up to 10 MW in size.

  3. I think any deal they negotiate directly with the OPA would be around 11-cents. The standard offer rate of 11 cents is based on past negotiations the government has had with other wind farm developers.

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