Project Development Process
Our process of developing a commercial wind farm typically involves the following steps:
Identify and Assess Site
The first step to determining the viability of a windpower project is to develop a large-scale computer model of the wind speeds blowing over a study area, using public meteorological data. We then use more sophisticated computer modeling to drill down to identify smaller areas with potentially the most valuable wind resource.
Based on our initial findings, we then approach the owners of land with the most promising wind resources. We negotiate lease options to further study their land by setting up wind measuring instruments, such as a meteorological mast, LIDAR (a laser measurement device) or SODAR (a sonar device). At this point, we may also start monitoring wildlife, looking for species at potential risk, including birds and bats.
During the multi-year monitoring period, we also undertake other work such as: wind model refinement and resource evaluation based on ground-level data collection, electrical grid integration and connection studies, land use, zoning and official plan review, and geotechnical investigations.
Design Site and Turbine Layout
Among the next steps are the selection of wind turbine technology and preliminary turbine locations, civil engineering design of roads and turbine foundations, and electrical infrastructure design.
Seek Zoning Approvals and Construction Permits
We then undertake a regulated environmental assessment; community and stakeholder consultations; transmission system impact assessment and coordination with electric utilities, and collaboration with local municipalities. Only after the environmental assessment is completed and approved by all levels of government will we proceed to the next steps.
Obtain Project Financing
At this stage, we submit a bid to the power authority to build the wind farm and sell its electricity at a competitive rate. With a power sale agreement in place, we develop a project budget, undertake financial modeling, and seek construction and long-term financing while lending institutions conduct due diligence reviews.
Manage Construction and Commission the Project
The final step is to work with all stakeholders in managing the wind farm construction through to completion, and commissioning it to officially begin supplying electricity to the power authority.