March 13, 2006

Saint John company awarded $45K contract on first NB building to use wind power

The New Brunswick government has awarded Wind Dynamics, of Saint John, a $45,338 contract to supply the equipment for a 24-metre-high windmill being installed at the province's new district ranger office in Florenceville. The windmill is expected to produce about 15% of the office's electricity requirements and will make it the first provincial building to utilize wind energy.

Designed for low-to-moderate wind speeds, the windmill has a rotor diameter of eight metres and a rated power output of 10 kilowatts. It will be integrated with the energy connection from NB Power so that during periods when the building is not using the full amount of energy produced, the excess will be transferred to NB Power's distribution system and credited to the building's account, thus reducing its energy costs.

"As part of our move toward environmentally friendly (green) buildings, the windmill will be the government's first venture into wind energy for a public building," said Supply and Services Minister Bev Harrison.

The Florenceville district ranger office also represents the province's first government building designed to meet the principles of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an industry standard used to measure green building performance.

In addition to the windmill, the one-storey, 522 square-metre (5,800 square-foot) building will utilize a ground-source heat pump to heat and cool the facility. The system transfers coolness or warmth from the earth to the building for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. It will be the first ground-source heat system to be installed in a public building in over a decade, and is expected to reduce the building's energy requirements for heating and cooling by about 50%.

The new district ranger office in is slated for completion in April 2006, at a cost of $1.3 million. Natural Resources Minister Keith Ashfield noted that the new office fits in with the government's goal to invest in green infrastructure as outlined in Greater Opportunity: New Brunswick's Prosperity Plan. "A lot of the new work coming forward in government will involve the construction of more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient buildings," he said.

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