Eight community-based energy development companies will spend $16 million over the next two years installing wind turbines in each community, it was announced Thursday.
And five of these corporations have been given the green light by securities regulators to raise more money.
The communities want to start producing green energy and using it in their own homes and businesses, said Dana Morin, general manager of Scotian Wind Fields, an umbrella organization representing a network of wind field corporations, which was formed in 2000.
The one hurdle facing the corporations is being able to sell directly to buyers.
In Nova Scotia, a provincial government-appointed committee recommended three years ago the direct sales of renewable energy but the Conservative government has yet to pass the legislation to break up Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly.
Mr. Morin hopes that by the summer of 2008 the government will have opened the doors to competition in electricity generation.
“We want deregulation as it was promised three years ago,” the Falmouth man said.
One of the first turbines has already arrived and is being installed by the Bay Wind Field at Digby Neck. The Bay Wind Field is one of three wind corporations that has directly invested in Renewable Energy Services Ltd. of Windsor for the installation of the turbines.
The network of corporations includes the Bay Wind Field (Digby, Yarmouth and Annapolis counties), Glooscap Wind Field (Kings and Hants), Northumberland Wind Field (Pictou and Antigonish), Colchester-Cumberland Wind Field, Sou’Wester Wind Field (Queens, Shelburne, Lunenburg), Chebucto Wind Field (Halifax Regional Municipality), Gold Coast Wind Field (Guysborough) and Isle Wind Field (Cape Breton and Richmond).
These corporations are governed by a board of directors and eligible to raise money using a community economic development investment fund, a pool of capital formed through the sale of shares to persons within a certain community to operate or invest in a local business. It is eligible for tax breaks.
Mr. Morin said five of the corporations – Glooscap, Northumberland, Colchester-Cumberland, Sou’Wester and Chebucto – are going back to the market this fall issuing more shares to raise money for further development of wind projects. They are authorized by regulators to raise up to $3 million per offering toward the wind projects.
By Judy Myrden, Business Reporter
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding