SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern) today announced that its St. Joseph Wind project – the largest wind farm in Manitoba – has reached its first full year of operation. The 138 megawatt (MW) wind power project, located in the southern Manitoba community of St. Joseph, has supplied the area with more than 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean and renewable energy, enough to meet the needs of 50,000 local homes. During its first year of operation, the St. Joseph Wind project has produced more than $1 million in property tax revenue for the region.
Local officials, landowners and employees attended a ceremony to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the start of commercial operations at the St. Joseph Wind project.
"Manitoba's reputation as a leader in renewable energy development continues to grow with the success of the St. Joseph Wind Project," said Premier Greg Selinger. "This investment has created jobs and boosted the local economy while building on our existing hydroelectricity supply, geothermal activities, biofuel production and aggressive energy-conservation initiatives."
"St. Joseph Wind has been a huge success – creating local jobs, generating a strong amount of clean energy, furthering economic development, and contributing significant tax revenue," said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. "The project has performed very well, exceeding our projected production levels in its first year, generating more than 500,000 MWh of clean energy for the region, enough to power 50,000 local homes. The project's contribution of more than $1 million in property taxes is helping to lower the tax burden. The Rural Municipality of Montcalm has confirmed that local residents have realized a reduction in their property tax bills due to the project's contribution, which is a tangible benefit we think all taxpayers can appreciate."
"We are proud the project has helped the area to benefit financially in many ways," added Garland. "We've donated $50,000 to the Musee Saint-Joseph Museum, with a commitment for future annual contributions. The local recreation center has seen an increase in revenue and regional employment and tourism have grown, resulting in increased revenue to restaurants, hotels and local businesses."
The St. Joseph Wind farm will generate significant revenue for the local area. Over the life of the project, Pattern will contribute $44 million in local municipal taxes, with two-thirds of the tax revenue dedicated to education and one-third committed to the host communities.
The project created a total of 390 jobs, including 350 jobs during construction, the overwhelming majority of which were sourced locally with approximately 95% of the positions filled by Canadians and 75% by Manitobans. The project employs an ongoing crew of 40 operations and maintenance staff. In addition, the project outsources a wide range of services to local businesses, including maintenance and repairs, snow removal, environmental services, electricians, and waste removal, among others.
The St. Joseph Wind project provides many environmental benefits, including the reduction of more than 350,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases in the region. The project saves more than 295 million liters of water each year, compared to the same generation by a typical fossil fuel power plant. Production of an equivalent amount of electricity via natural gas would have required the consumption of 3.3 million cubic feet of natural gas.
The project covers an area of 125 square kilometres of privately-owned agricultural land in the Rural Municipalities of Montcalm and Rhineland, yet uses only approximately 1% of this land, leaving the remaining land in its natural state for other uses. Pattern and Manitoba Hydro have entered into a 27-year power purchase agreement for the sale of energy produced by the project.
Pattern Energy Group LP is an independent, fully-integrated energy company that develops, constructs, owns, and operates renewable energy and transmission assets in the United States, Canada and Latin America. With a long history in wind energy, Pattern's highly-experienced team of scientists, engineers, construction experts, and legal and financial professionals has developed, financed and placed into operation more than 2,500 MW of wind power projects. Pattern is strongly committed to promoting environmental stewardship and is dedicated to working closely with landowners and communities to create premier renewable energy projects. Currently operating 520 MW of wind energy in North America, Pattern has 250 MW of wind projects in construction and expects to begin construction of an additional 1,400 MW over the next 12 months. The Company's full development pipeline exceeds 4,000 MW of renewable energy and transmission projects. Pattern has offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, New York, and Toronto. For more information, please visit www.patternenergy.com.
SOURCE Pattern Energy Group LP