Suncor Forty Mile Wind Power Project

Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity generation, because it’s efficient, emissions-free and renewable. Investing in wind power and other forms of renewable energy are key components of our climate change action plan.
The view looking up at a large three-bladed wind turbine with a blue sky in the background

Forty Mile Wind Power Project at a glance

The Suncor Forty Mile Wind Power Project is located in southeastern Alberta, on approximately 50,000 acres of private land, south and east of the town of Bow Island and in the County of Forty Mile. The project is designed to be developed in two phases for a total of 400 megawatts (MW), with the first phase consisting of 200 MW.

Phase one construction began in April 2021.

Once built, the first phase of Forty Mile will consist of 45 wind turbines (4.5 MW each), a meteorological tower, an electrical collection system, turbine access roads, and temporary construction facilities. Forty Mile will deliver generated electricity to the gird via the Granlea substation, which will connect to the existing 240 kiloVolts (kV) transmission line within the project area.

We continue to consult with local stakeholders to identify potential environmental impacts and potential mitigation measures. The final project development plan reflects input provided by landowners, community members, regulators and local Indigenous communities and takes into account relevant environmental factors.

Location

The Suncor Forty Mile Wind Power Project is located on privately owned land located in the County of Forty Mile, approximately 60 kilometres from the city of Medicine Hat. The project area is approximately 13 kilometres from the town of Bow Island, Alberta.

The figure below identifies the location of the project and the area that has been studied.

2019 Forty Mile Project footprint map

Forty Mile Wind Power Project Footprint

(PDF, 1 page, 3 MB)
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Proposed timeline

The project schedule could look like the following:

Activity Date
AUC application submission October 2017
AUC initial approval May 2019
AUC amendment submission September 2019
AUC amendment approval October 2019
Construction suspended due to revised capital expenditure program in 2020 March 2020
Site remobilization (construction restart) April 2021
Granlea phase in commercial operations December 2022
Maleb phase in commercial operations December 2022

How wind farms work

Wind turbines capture the energy of moving air and convert it to electricity.

Wind turbines work on the same principle that allows airplanes to fly. The wind doesn’t push the blades, but passes over them. The resulting pressure difference between the upper and lower surfaces creates lift, which causes the rotor to turn.

As the blades of a wind turbine turn, the kinetic energy of the wind is converted into mechanical energy, which is transmitted through a drive shaft to an electrical generator in the nacelle. The resulting electrical current travels via a network of collection system wires to a substation, where it is converted to a higher voltage for the larger electricity transmission or distribution grid. From there, it’s delivered to the electric utility and customers.

Indigenous and community engagement

Communities and local stakeholders have a right to be informed about our activities, participate in a transparent engagement process, and be involved in the decisions on issues and opportunities that may affect their interests.

Our objectives:

  • Engage early with interested Indigenous groups, local stakeholders and community organizations to understand their concerns, interests and values; minimize adverse impacts; and, identify opportunities for mutual benefits.
  • Develop long-term positive relationships and presence in the communities.
  • Be responsive to community concerns in a way that fosters constructive dialogue, trust and mutual respect.
  • Since early 2016, Suncor has been engaging with community members in and around Forty Mile County. The project team has hosted open house information events, consulted with our project landowners, consulted with County Council and supported and attended a variety of community organizations’ events.

We engage early so that we can learn about the community and share information about the proposed project concept. We will continue to engage throughout construction, commissioning and operations.

We want to understand the community’s values, priorities, needs and concerns at all stages of project planning, so we can better reflect these community interests in the Forty Mile Wind Power Project.

Suncor remains committed to engaging with Forty Mile County and the surrounding community.

Project consultation

Since the spring of 2017, Suncor representatives have been sharing information and meeting with community members in support of our permit application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), which was submitted in October 2017 (proceeding #23030).

If you would like to receive email updates about the proposed Suncor Forty Mile Wind Power Project, please send us an email to be added to our distribution list.

Information updates

May, 2020

Environmental stewardship

We believe environmentally responsible operations are essential. With nearly two decades of renewable energy experience, Suncor continues to consider new operating practices to enhance environmental performance.

As part of the project process, we complete a variety of studies that can include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical resource studies
  • Noise modeling and verification
  • Visual impact assessments
  • Wetland and watercourse assessments
  • Wildlife and wildlife habitat studies

We continue to consult with local stakeholders to identify potential environmental impacts and potential mitigation measures. The final project development plan reflects input provided by landowners, community members, regulators and local Indigenous communities and takes into account all relevant environmental factors.

Socio-economic benefits

We believe the people and communities affected by our activities should be able to benefit from energy development through opportunities such as employment, business development, education, training and community investment.

Key factors of being a sustainable energy company include strong economic performance, along with social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Suncor’s investment in the Suncor Forty Mile Wind Power Project will benefit the economy, people and nearby communities through:

  • Creating jobs (construction and operations)
  • Promoting economic growth and contracting opportunities
  • Increasing the community’s tax base
  • Investing in programs and initiatives that support resilient and sustainable communities