The Forty Mile wind power project is a 400MW onshore wind farm planned to be developed in the Forty Mile county, Alberta, Canada.

Suncor Energy is developing the project in two phases through its wholly-owned subsidiary Forty Mile Granlea Wind GP.

Suncor sanctioned £230m ($300m) for phase one with 200MW installed capacity in December 2019.

Construction on phase one is expected to be started in the first half of 2020 with commissioning expected by the end of 2021.

Phase two involving the remaining 200MW wind power installations is expected to commence commercial operations in December 2022.

Location and site details

The Suncor Forty Mile wind power project will be developed on 50,000 acres of private land in Forty Mile county in southern Alberta, approximately 13km away from Bow Island.

Forty Mile wind project background

Environmental studies, as well as wind resource assessment for the project, were carried out during 2016 and 2017.

The Forty Mile wind farm was originally proposed to be developed with a maximum of 175 wind turbines and two substations. The construction works were proposed to be started in 2018 with commissioning expected in 2019. The application for the same was submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) in October 2017.

On AUC’s request, the number of turbines was reduced to 160 in March 2018. The wind farm was planned to be developed with GE2.5-116 wind turbines of 2.5MW rated capacity each.

In June 2018, Suncor again revised the turbine layout for the project and proposed to use a total of 96 V150-4.2MW turbines from Vestas. The construction works were proposed to be started in 2018 with the start of commercial operation expected in December 2019.

The 400MW onshore wind farm project received approval from the AUC in May 2019. However, in September 2019, Suncor submitted an application to the AUC for timeline extension as well as amendments to the wind farm make-up.

The project amendment application was approved by the AUC in October 2019.

Suncor Forty Mile wind farm make-up

The Forty Mile wind farm will be equipped with a total of  89 SG 4.5-145 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa.

Phase one development of the wind farm will involve the installation of 45 turbines and the construction of a substation at Granlea, Alberta.

Remaining 44 turbines will be installed in phase two which will also involve a new substation near Maleb within the Forty Mile county.

With 145m-diametre rotor, 71m-long blades and 107.5m-high hub, each turbine of the wind farm will have 16,513m2 of swept area. The rated capacity of each turbine will be 4.5MW.

Power transmission

The electricity generated by the wind turbines will be transmitted to the Granlea and Maleb substations through a 34.5kV collector cable system.

Each substation will comprise a 240kV circuit breaker, two 240/34.5-kV transformers, eight 34.5-kV circuit breakers, and associated substation equipment.

The Granlea substation will be connected to AltaLink’s existing 240kV transmission line 964L through a 230m-long new transmission line, while the Maleb Substation will be connected to AltaLink’s existing Whitla Substation through a new 2.6km-long 240kV transmission line.

The electricity generated by the wind farm is planned for evacuation into the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES) which is operated by Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

AltaLink, an electricity transmission company based in Alberta, is responsible for providing the grid connection to the Forty Mile wind power project.