January 19, 2004

PEI doubles wind energy capacity as new North Cape units begin operation

With eight new wind turbines up and operating at the North Cape Wind Farm, Prince Edward Island has doubled its wind energy capacity and is well on its way to meeting its renewable energy strategy goal of obtaining at least 10% of its electrical energy from wind power by 2010. Environment and Energy Minister Jamie Ballem said the new 660-watt turbines bring the province's electrical generation capacity to 10.56 megawatts, generating enough wind power to meet the needs of nearly 6,500 homes.

"That means that approximately four per cent of Islander's energy needs are being met by the North Cape Wind Farm. Combined with the recent commissioning of the V-90, North America's largest wind machine, Prince Edward Island is getting five per cent of its electricity through this clean and renewable energy source. That is quite an accomplishment in two years." At the same time, he noted that "energy produced at the North Cape Wind Farm will displace 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful pollutants each year."

Ballem added that over the next several months, the PEI Energy Corporation, which owns and operates the wind farm, will be making plans to assess the wind resources in other regions of the province.

The facility opened in November 2001 with eight turbines generating 5.28 megawatts of electricity. PEI Energy invested $850,000 of the earnings from Phase 1 in the $7.6 million Phase 2 expansion. Through the federal Wind Power Production Incentive program, the Corporation will receive approximately one cent per kilowatt-hour for all power produced from the Phase 2 turbines until 2010.

PEI Energy is selling the electricity generated from the expansion to Maritime Electric at 90% of what it would cost the utility to purchase the energy from off-Island. In addition, Islanders buying green energy from Maritime Electric have seen the price they are paying drop from 3.5 cents to 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

"Revenues from Phase 1 actually exceeded expectations so the Energy Corporation is able to not only sell the Phase 2 energy to Maritime Electric at a cheaper price, but also to reinvest earnings in future wind energy developments in Prince Edward Island," Ballem noted.

"The North Cape Wind Farm has been an unqualified success. Now we want to see if that can be duplicated in other areas of Prince Edward Island," he added. More information is available from Sandra Lambe at PEI Environment and Energy, 902/368-5286, E-mail selambe@gov.pe.ca.

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