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P.E.I. begins work on $56-million wind turbine power project  

Prince Edward Island is moving full steam ahead toward its goal of having 100 per cent of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2015.

Within the past two weeks, construction has begun on a 30-megawatt wind farm in the eastern part of the province. In addition, Summerside has announced the purchase of nine megawatts of wind energy and tenders have been called for the first phase of a wind-hydrogen village to be built in North Cape.

Frontier Energy Systems is currently preparing the 12 adjoining properties near North Lake that will eventually house the 10 wind turbines. The first of 30 blade components arrived by freighter last week. Company spokesman Carl Brothers, who is the former director of the Atlantic wind test site in North Cape, said Monday assembly of the components will begin in October.

The $56-million project will have the ability to generate 12 per cent of the Island’s electrical generation.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the province, Energy Minister Jamie Ballem said it will be next spring before construction actually begins on the first phase of the wind-hydrogen village. The project is expected to be in operation by August of 2007.

“There is a great deal of interest in this project and it will be an excellent complement to other attractions at North Cape,” said Mr. Ballem. “With the Wind Energy Institute of Canada opening there this fall, P.E.I. will have a world-class wind research facility.

“The development of Canada’s first grid-independent wind-hydrogen village will further strengthen the Island’s reputation as a centre of excellence for research and development of renewable energy technologies.”

The wind-hydrogen project will demonstrate how wind energy and hydrogen technologies can work together to offer clean energy solutions for small and remote communities. The provincial government will invest $2.9 million in the project. This includes $2.5 million in earnings from the North Cape wind farm and $425,000 from Prince Edward Island Business Development.

The minister announced Monday there will be a change in the management structure. A public-private partnership between the P.E.I. Energy Corporation (a provincial Crown corporation) and Toronto-based Hydrogenics Corporation has been discontinued.

“A shortfall in private-sector funding led to funding formula issues that, despite best efforts, the parties were unable to overcome,” the minister said in a statement.

“While disappointed the original project partnership did not work out, this will enable us to maximize economic benefits for Prince Edward Island with greater opportunity to purchase certain equipment and services locally.”

The first phase of the Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village Project includes the installation of a hydrogen production station, a hydrogen storage depot, a hydrogen fuelled generator, and a wind-hydrogen integrated control system.

Wind energy from the turbines at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada will be used to meet ongoing electricity needs and to provide power to electrolysis equipment which extracts hydrogen from water.

The hydrogen will then be used in a hydrogen-fuelled engine to provide backup electricity to the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, the existing Atlantic wind test site building and the North Cape wind farm utility building.

Development of the control system and its subsequent commercialization will be carried out by Frontier Power Systems through an agreement with the P.E.I. Energy Corporation.

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said the deal with Ventus Energy Inc. will allow the city’s electric utility to meet the provincial requirement to have at least 15 per cent of electrical energy from renewable resources by 2010.

Ventus, a Toronto company, is building a 99-megawatt wind farm in West Cape. The nine-megawatt deal with Summerside represents 23 per cent of the city’s current electricity generation requirements.

The Ventus project is now under construction. The first phase of the project consists of 11 wind turbine generators. Construction of Phase 2 will begin in late summer 2007 and will consist of forty-four wind turbine generators.

by Andy Walker (awalker@herald.ca)

thechronicleherald.ca

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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