CALGARY, ALBERTA, March 13, 2003 — Alberta Infrastructure will purchase approximately 45% of its required power from the new Grande Prairie EcoPowerâ„- Centre.
Canadian Hydro was one of two successful bidders in Infrastructure’s Request for Proposals for the Supply of Green Electricity. This amount of electricity purchased from Canadian Hydro is equal to the annual power required for approximately 15,000 households.
“This innovative and responsible step by the Province of Alberta is possible because green power is affordable on a long term, stable basis,” said John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro. “All Albertans gain from turning waste into wealth. The Grande Prairie EcoPowerâ„- Centre will convert bark and sawdust into useful energy in the form of electricity and steam. This showcase renewable energy facility will provide considerable environmental and economic benefits to the Grande Prairie district.”
The green power to be sold to Infrastructure will be from Canadian Hydro’s $57 million, 25 MW Grande Prairie EcoPowerâ„- Centre (the “GPEC”) project. The GPEC will use wood waste from a local lumber mill to generate both electricity and steam. The proposed design will result in an estimated 80% reduction of particulate emissions (mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air) through the removal of the existing wood residue incinerator. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing other polluting power sources.
The GPEC project will create 20 new long-term jobs for the residents of Grande Prairie and provide a new municipal tax base. The Company anticipates construction to take one year and is scheduled to begin construction this spring. In excess of 90% of the 175,000 MWh per year generated from this plant will be sold under long-term contracts between Infrastructure and two other entities. This represents an increase in generation of approximately 46% over expected 2003 levels for the company as a whole.
The environmental attributes of low impact renewable energy are the “green” in green power. Attributes include a reduction of air contaminants and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional power generation. They will be accumulated and accounted for separately from electrical supply and transferred to Infrastructure on an annual basis in the form of a Renewable Energy Certificate (“REC”).
Infrastructure is a department of the Government of Alberta that contributes to the Province’s prosperity and quality of life by effectively providing government owned and supported infrastructure. Infrastructure has approximately 700 electricity accounts in over 2 million square metres of space in government owned facilities throughout the province including offices, research facilities, courthouses, museums and correctional centres.
Canadian Hydro is a developer, owner and operator of nine “run of river” hydroelectric plants, three wind plants and one natural gas-fired plant, totalling 88.9 MW net to the Company’s interest. In addition, the 30 MW Pingston Hydroelectric Plant is nearing completion by the end of March 2003 and other projects in excess of 250 MW are in various stages of permitting for construction in the next five years.
All of the Company’s plants and projects are located in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Canadian Hydro’s wind and water plants are certified under the EcoLogo® program. All of the Company’s future projects, including the Grande Prairie EcoPowerâ„- Centre, are slated for certification as low-impact renewable energy facilities.
Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. is committed to the concept of low-impact power generation. Through its wind and run-of-river hydro facilities, Canadian Hydro is demonstrating that commitment to the benefit of the environment and its shareholders.