Prince Edward Island Wind Farm Moves Forward

The Government of Prince Edward Island moved another step closer this week to establishing a 30 MW wind farm in eastern Kings County. Premier Pat Binns and Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem announced the ownership model and released a request for information pertaining to project financing, as well as a request for proposals for project design services.

“Our wind resource in Prince Edward Island is one of the best in North America and we want all Islanders to have the opportunity to share the benefits of that resource,” said Premier Binns. “At this point, it appears the best way to achieve that goal is with a Government and co-op ownership model which would give every Islander an opportunity to invest in this project and have a stake in their own energy future.” With that in mind, the proposed wind project will be owned by a subsidiary of the PEI Energy Corporation. A wind energy cooperative will be established and will become a shareholder of the subsidiary company and every islander will be eligible to be a member of the cooperative which will allow them to invest in the wind project. To create further benefits for Islanders and for the Province, Premier Binns added that Government intends to apply to make investments in the wind project qualify as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) investment. “This would allow Islanders to plan for their future while keeping their investment dollars in PEI so that their money can help bring about a project that will benefit this province for years to come,” said Premier Binns. Further details of the cooperative model will be worked out in the weeks ahead. Minister Ballem said the next step in moving the wind project forward is getting information on financing for the capital costs which are estimated at $55-65 million, and identifying companies that could assist the PEI Energy Corporation in project design and development. “We know from our experience at North Cape that wind energy works in Prince Edward Island, and monitoring data tells us that the wind resource at the eastern tip of PEI is as strong as that in the western end of the province,” said Minister Ballem. “Our next step is to make sure we have all the necessary information on project design and financing to make the decision to proceed.” With wind energy the fastest growing energy resource in the world, Minister Ballem said there appears to be significant interest in financing wind energy projects. And wind development in PEI is particularly attractive because of the requirement for Island utilities to have 15 percent of electrical energy from renewables by 2010. Minister Ballem said the PEI Energy Corporation’s request for proposals for project design services for the eastern Kings wind farm will identify a company that can assist in evaluating turbines, planning the site layout, and preparing capital and operating cost estimates. A request for expression of interest in project construction services will be issued in the future to help identify companies that could provide an array of services to take the project from the planning phase to completion. The deadline for the request for information pertaining to project financing and the request for proposals for project design services is June 14, 2005. Minister Ballem said a final decision on the details of the project will be made as soon as possible. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the spring of 2006 to have the wind farm in operation that fall. The request for information pertaining to project financing, and the request for proposals for project design services can be found online at the following link.
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