The P.E.I. government launched a sale of bonds on its latest wind energy farm Monday, but you have to live on the Island to buy them.
Almost all the wind farms in Canada are financed and owned by private companies, but provincial Energy Minister Jamie Ballem said he wanted to finance the wind farm at East Point differently.
“This is not going to be controlled by a major corporation in Ontario. This is not going to be bought by a pension fund in Ontario or European investors. This is ours,” he said.
“I think this is probably one of the most important announcements we’re going to make when it comes to the project and the future of P.E.I.”
Islanders can go to any credit union in the province to purchase the bonds for a minimum $500 and a maximum $10,000 investment.
The government is backing a five per cent return for five years on the bonds.
Ballem said the government hopes to raise $20 million of the $55 million it cost to build the farm. As an added incentive for potential buyers, the province has applied to make the bonds RRSP eligible.
The wind farm, expected to be in production before the end of the year, has 10 turbines that will produce enough power to run 12,000 homes, about 7.5 per cent of the Island’s energy needs.
It will replace energy previously bought from New Brunswick at a cost of $8.5 million a year. The farm is coming on stream at a time when Maritime Electric is renegotiating a number of it purchase agreements.
“Certainly wind generation has become competitive against those markets,” said Maritime Electric CEO Fred O’Brien.
The province is focusing on the future in its ad campaign selling the bonds, with a television ad featuring a Grade One class at Parkdale Elementary School.
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