Sequoia Energy gets Environment Licences
to develop more wind farms in Manitoba

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, October 18, 2006

Sequoia Energy Inc. is the first wind energy company to secure three provincial Environment Act Licences to build new wind farms in southern Manitoba.

 

"Getting an environmental license is a big step, but to get three for three different sites in Manitoba is a major milestone for wind energy development. it's one of the most important hurdles in building wind farms and no one gets to develop a wind farm without them," Sequoia CEO Ron Diduch said today.

It's taken several years to acquire the environmental licences, which included hosting public open houses in communities and doing in-depth analysis of soil, water and wildlife in the proposed areas to ensure the regions can support a wind farm. In Manitoba, an independent environmental assessor must do that research and the final report must be submitted to the Manitoba government for its review.

As a result Manitoba Conservation has issued licences that give Sequoia Energy and its partners the environmental green light to develop wind farms in the Pembina Hills area in south central Manitoba just west of the town of Miami and around Deerwood; in the Killarney area in southwest Manitoba; and near Dacotah (in the Elie area) just west of Winnipeg. Each of those projects has a capability of producing 99 megawatts of power. When combined, they create nearly 300 megawatts and can power 100,000 homes.

 

"It's always been our philosophy that it takes a whole community to build a wind farm. In fact, I recently calculated that I've personally made over 300 visits with landowner families in one community alone. As a result of meeting with people one-on-one and answering their questions today we have over 350 landowners across Manitoba who have signed land agreements with us. What they tell us is that the future wind farms in their communities mean more than the dollars. It means pride in their community, and long term sustainability." said Sequoia President Bob Spensley.

Another critical step that a wind energy developer must take is to get permission to connect into Manitoba Hydro's transmission lines once the energy is created. After the first stages of assessing transmission effects, Manitoba Hydro organizes energy projects into a wait list or transmission queue.

"We started negotiating with Manitoba Hydro's transmission department four years ago on how and where we could connect into their system. As a result, these three projects are near the top of the list to connect into Manitoba Hydro's transmission system," Diduch adds.

The Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro announced in September that they would issue a Request for Proposals shortly to invite wind energy developers to bid on developing 300 megawatts of wind energy in Manitoba. Once that process is complete and a developer or developers are selected then wind farms can be developed.

 

"We estimate we've spent $8 million of private money getting to this stage and if we are fortunate to develop these projects fully we would invest an additional $5700 million. We know we have a few more steps to take before we can put shovels in the ground, but we're well positioned to get going," says Diduch.

 

Ron Diduch
CEO, Sequoia Energy Inc.
Phone: (204) 927-0293
Cell: (204) 797-7388
Email: rdiduch@sequoia-energy.com