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Burchill wind farm celebrates major milestone

By Brad Perry Feb 27, 2023 | 2:52 PM

Things are starting to take shape at the site of the Burchill wind farm in Saint John.

Natural Forces, a partner in the project, said eight of the 10 turbines have been installed so far.

Amy Pellerin, director of Canadian development, said one of the turbines is already producing electricity.

“The rest of the turbines, so all 10 turbines, should be installed and mechanically complete and starting to produce electricity by the spring of 2023,” Pellerin said in an interview.

Burchill is a partnership between Natural Forces and Tobique First Nation, which is the majority owner of the project.

The wind farm will consist of 10 wind turbine generators, which will produce up to 42 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. It also has a utility-scale energy storage facility.

The energy will be purchased by Saint John Energy at a locked-in rate for 25 years. According to the utility, the project will provide enough power to supply up to 15 per cent of the city’s energy needs.

Pellerin said worldwide supply chain issues have led to some delays in the project’s overall completion.

The wind farm was initially set to be up and running by the end of 2021. That was later pushed back to the end of 2022.

“We did have our towers for the turbines coming from China, so there’s been some issues just getting the turbine towers to site,” said Pellerin.

That delay meant officials had to construct and build the turbines in the winter, which has created other issues.

“These are very large turbines so you have to make sure that you’re installing them during low-wind conditions,” said Pellerin. “Typically in the winter we’re talking high winds and this is a very windy site.”

Pellerin said the estimated total price tag for the project stands at $95 million. That includes a nearly $50-million contribution from the federal government announced last May.


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