The City of Medicine Hat installed three wind turbines in 2014 through a public-private partnership with the Box Springs Wind Corporation, a subsidiary of Wind River Power Corporation. Each turbine generates up to two megawatts (MW) of electricity at capacity.
The turbines were erected and are maintained by the Box Springs Wind Corporation, while the City purchases all the electricity they generate for a period of 20 years. The City receives the carbon credits from the project, which can be used to offset emissions from the municipally-owned power plant.
As the machines are expected to run approximately 30 per cent of the time, the energy generated over the course of an average year is expected to about 16,000 MWh which will supply electricity for about 2,000 homes. The wind farm will meet about 3 per cent of the City of Medicine Hat's electricity needs.
Wind farm facts
- 3 turbines outputting a maximum of 2 MWs each for a total of 6 MWs.
- Expectation is about 16,000 MWh will be generated in an average wind year, enough electricity for about 2,000 homes.
- Each turbine is anchored by 128 bolts holding it into the concrete. Each bolt is almost 10 feet long.
- The hubs (the part to which the blade is attached) and turbine heads were made in Spain. The blades were made in Grand Forks, North Dakota and the steel towers were made in California.
- Prevailing wind direction in southern Alberta is southwest to south.
- The turbine heads can actually spin all the way around in order to best capture the blowing wind from any direction.
- Each turbine has a maximum speed of 19 revolutions per minute.
- Each turbine is 78 metres tall.
- Each blade is 44 metres in length.
- City has option to take over the wind farm after the 20 year period.