Saskatoon group vying for approval of wind farm
A group in Saskatoon is holding a public meeting to see if wind energy could power the city.
The group, Saskatoon Community Wind, began looking into the idea of a wind farm just over a year ago.
"I talked with a number of people in Saskatoon and I heard about the landfill wind project and why that didn't work. So, I started looking into why it didn't work," Saskatoon Community Wind president James Glennie.
He is a geophysicist with 23 years of experience in the energy sector with 13 years focused on wind energy. He has worked around the world making wind a viable energy source.
"It didn't work because it was small, a single turbine, and it had a poor location in the city. It was very challenging from a geo-technical standpoint because it was built on the landfill."
Saskatoon Community Wind was formed and began looking into how they could make the renewable energy source work for the city. The proposed wind farm would consist of 10 wind turbines located 15 to 30 kilometres outside the city that would generate electricity for 16,000 residents. Glennie also used experience he had around the world to propose the idea that it should be community owned.
"When in Germany and Denmark I worked with community owned ones where the community decides saying this is the project, size, and location," he said explaining they will rely on individuals and local corporations for investment.
"The economics of this are attractive and if you can give people an attractive investment opportunity with very low risk people will invest."
Glennie estimated that based on modelling it would cost $50 million.
The meeting Thursday night will take the public's questions about the operation and also answer questions regarding concerns. Glennie said that if the public shows interest and enthusiasm the wind farm is much more likely to become a reality.
"This project can only work if the City is behind it because the idea of this project is that it will sell its electricity to Saskatoon Light and Power which is municipally owned," he explained.
"The City wants to know what the public thinks about it before they have a formal position."
The meeting will be held at the Farmers' Market at 6 p.m. Thursday night.
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