The Sharp Hills wind farm is a 298.2MW wind farm being developed in Special Areas 3 and 4 near Sedalia and New Brigden hamlets in Alberta, Canada.

Alberta Wind Energy Corporation (AWEC) initiated the project development during 2011-2015, but sold it to EDP Renewables Canada while retaining an interest.

The project is currently being developed by EDP Renewables SH Project GP, a subsidiary of EDP Renewables.

Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved the construction of the wind farm including a substation in September 2018. Site mobilization works at the wind farm are expected to begin in 2019, with commercial operations anticipated to be started by Q4 2020.

With an estimated capital expenditure of $510m, the Sharp Hills wind project is expected to generate approximately 300 construction jobs and between 15 and 20 permanent jobs. It is estimated to have an operational life of 15 years.

The wind farm is expected to generate enough power to meet the electricity needs of up to 160,000 homes. The annual carbon offset will be equivalent to removing more than 175,000 cars from the road.

Sharp Hills Wind farm location

The wind farm will be located approximately 18km south-east of Consort, Sedalia, and New Brigden hamlets. It is being developed on 35,000 acres of private land obtained under multiple lease agreements and local municipal right of ways.

The project is bounded by Township Road 340 and Township Road 310 to the north and south and is bordered by Range Roads 40 and 63 to the east and west, respectively.

Sharp Hills wind farm turbine details

The Sharp Hills wind farm is being developed in two phases, with 59 turbines proposed to be installed in phase one and 12 in phase two. The two phases are expected to produce 247.8MW and 50.4MW of electricity, respectively.

The wind farm will use Enercon E-138 EP3 E2 turbines, which a power generation capacity of 4.2MW each.

Each turbine will have a hub height of 128m, height of 2.7m at the tip of the nacelle, and a 138.6m-diameter rotor. The rated power output of the turbine generator is 4,200kW.

The annular generator comprising the rotor and stator is a sophisticated converter technology, which generates minimal vibration during operation and low sound emissions enabling a long service life.  The turbine uses gearless drive technology with low level wear due to slow rotation speed.

The turbines will have a noise level of 106dBA, which will be in compliance with the AUC Rule 012: Noise Control.

Transmission of power generated by Sharp Hills

The power generated by the Sharp Hills project will be transmitted to the 240kV ATCO transmission line, which passes through the project area.

The project will also include a new substation, named Sedalia 363S, to be located in the southwest quarter of Section 16, Township 32, and Range 5. The substation will be connected to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES) grid.

The substation will comprise two 34.5/240kV, 169MVA transformers, a 34.5kV switchgear building, and two 240kV circuit breakers. The 34.5kV collector system will consist primarily of underground cables in addition to a few overhead lines.

Power purchase agreement

The Government of Alberta will off-take the electricity generated by the Sharp Hills wind farm, under a 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreement (RESA). The purchase agreement was made as part of the Renewable Energy Program (REP) Round 1.

Contractors involved

ENERCON was awarded the contract to supply 71 E-138 EP3 E2 turbines, while Tetra Tech was engaged for preparing the wildlife study plan.