Canadian energy company Suncor Energy this week announced a joint venture with a North American subsidiary of Spanish renewable energy specialists EHN group to develop wind power projects in Canada.

Suncor, which has already begun a wind turbine project in the western province of Saskatchewan, said the venture would combine EHN’s technical expertise with its own knowledge of the Canadian energy market.

“Our work with EHN will bring a new and powerful player onto the renewable energy scene in Canada,” said Mike O’Brien, executive vice president, corporate development and CFO. “The focus on large-scale renewable energy projects fits with our commitment to address the risk of global climate change and our parallel path approach to energy development.” The parallel path refers to Suncor’s strategy to responsibly develop hydrocarbon resources to meet current energy needs while taking action to develop renewable energy sources for the long-term.

EHN, whose North American Renewable Canada Co. unit will work with Suncor in the venture, to be called SunNar, is now developing three big wind projects in Spain and Latin America. EHN is also doing research in the state of New York to identify possible sites for wind power development.

The Canadian firm recently announced its SunBridge project, which will eventually produce 11 MW of electricity from 17 turbines in southeastern Saskatchewan was operating with six of the units. Its partner is pipeline company and natural gas distributor Enbridge Inc.

Suncor is best known for its oil sands mining and synthetic crude operation in northern Alberta, expected to produce as much as 550 000 barrels a day by 2012, up from an expected 225 000 next year.

It said developing renewable energy sources was a key part of its strategy to balance its output of hydrocarbons with the need to take action on climate change.