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P.E.I. wind farm looking to future  

With the first phase of a 99-megawatt wind farm in West Cape now underway, the president of Ventus Energy Inc. says company staff are already thinking about other potential projects.

Ventus, created three years ago, already has 25 projects under development in six provinces, totalling more than 5,000 megawatts.

John Douglas told a news conference Thursday the firm is already scouting out locations for a five- to 10-megawatt farm in Kildare Cape, which is also on the Island’s western tip.

Mr. Douglas and other company representatives are meeting with registered brokers across the country, hoping to raise $25 million to $55 million with an initial public offering to finance the North Cape project. The offering is being made through Scotia Capital.

If the initial public offering raises $25 million, investors are expected to receive tax deductions of up to 92 per cent of the amount invested for the combined 2006 and 2007 tax years, says a company news release. And the site will qualify for Canadian renewable-energy and conservation expenses under the Income Tax Act, meaning eligible expenses are 100 per cent tax-deductible.

Mr. Douglas said the company’s first project – a nine-megawatt wind farm in Norway – will generate 31 gigawatt hours per year with its three Vestas V90 turbines. He said that site will be fully operational in early 2007.

When the West Cape site is up and running, its 55 Vestas V80 turbines will generate 99 megawatts. The company has already signed a long-term agreement with the City of Summerside Electric Utility to purchase nine megawatts.

The remaining 90 megawatts, he said, will be fed through Keswick, N.B., into the New England market. The power will be sold at prevailing rates under a renewable three-year marketing agreement with Emera Energy., a company release says. The project has received approval to market its renewable energy credits in the Massachusetts market.

Preparatory construction work has been done at West Cape and the first phase of 11 turbines is to be completed next year, with the others being brought on stream in 2008.

Mr. Douglas described the New England market as one of the most fluid in North America, with 14 million people and 6.5 million households and businesses.

He said he is confident the company can sell its electricity to New England for up to 50 per cent more than it would have received in the local market.

Mr. Douglas said the company estimates the cost of constructing its two current projects at $250 million. The wind farm will have significant economic impact over the next 20 years, he said, including $600,000 in royalty payments to landowners where the wind farms are located, $700,000 in property taxes and $1 million in operating costs.

By Andy Walker

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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