Pattern claims top spot in Canadian wind market

Pattern has become the top operator of wind capacity in Canada after switch-on at the 147MW Mont Sainte-Marguerite project in Quebec

By Karl-Erik Stromsta in New York
Recharge
11 April 2018

Pattern Energy’s development company has completed its 147MW Mont Sainte-Marguerite wind farm in the Canadian province of Quebec, making Pattern the number-one wind operator in Canada.

Mont Sainte-Marguerite marks Pattern’s second Canadian project to cross the finish line this month, having only last week announced the completion of the 100MW North Kent wind farm in Ontario with partner Samsung Renewable Energy.

Pattern's 147MW Mont Sainte-Marguerite wind farm in Quebec. Photo: Pattern Energy

 

With Mont Sainte-Marguerite’s 46 Siemens Gamesa turbines up and running, the Pattern family of companies – comprising the publicly listed yieldco Pattern Energy and its privately held developers – claims to have 1,533MW of Canadian wind capacity either under direct ownership or under management for partnering investors.

That’s good enough to top TransAlta and its renewables affiliate, which between them claim a little more than 1.4GW of Canadian wind capacity. In addition to home-grown energy companies like Enbridge and Northland Power, Canada’s renewables market has drawn a range of global heavyweights in recent years – including subsidiaries of EDF, EDPR and NextEra Energy.

Over the next few weeks, Pattern Energy will buy a 51% stake in Mont Sainte-Marguerite from Pattern Development, while Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) will buy the remaining 49%.

Last year PSP Investments became Pattern’s largest shareholder.

Pattern CEO: 'We can manage the risks of moving up the chain'  Read more

 

As with many wind projects built in Quebec, Mont Sainte-Marguerite features a large amount of locally made components, including turbine hubs made by FabDelta and towers made by Marmen.

Blades for the 3.2MW direct-drive turbines were made by Siemens Gamesa at its facility in neighbouring Ontario, which has since been closed down amid a slowdown of the wind market in eastern Canada.

Borea Construction built the Mont Sainte-Marguerite project, located some 50km south of Quebec City, and 10 O&M technicians will remain on site permanently to keep the turbines spinning.

In contrast to the snowballing wind market in Alberta, where fairly little emphasis has been placed on local content, Quebec has heavily stressed the inclusion of locally made equipment in its wind market – a move that boosted wind-related job creation in the near term but has also raised prices for developers.

Canada is second only to the US in importance for Pattern, which carved out an early leadership position in the Ontario renewables market and today owns stakes in nine projects across four Canadian provinces – including the 300MW Henvey Inlet project that’s due on line next year in Ontario.

Henvey Inlet will be Pattern’s first-ever project to use Vestas turbines.

While Pattern has also invested in a handful of projects in Latin America, Japan represents the next major front in its international expansion.

Pattern’s chief executive, Mike Garland, has compared the opportunity he sees in Japan to the one the company saw in Canada earlier this decade, with generous feed-in tariffs and relatively limited competition on the wind-development side.

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Matt Dallas
Pattern Energy
+1 917-363-1333
matt.dallas@patternenergy.com
patternenergy.com 
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