An announcement that Nova Scotia Power will significantly increase renewable energy by the end of 2009 had independent power producers across the province smiling Monday.
“Renewable power is one of the fastest growing sectors of the national economy, so it is good to see the province increasing its involvement,” said Larry LeBlanc, CEO of Halifax-based Renewable Energy Services.
Mr. LeBlanc said his operation is interested in adding to the seven electricity-generating wind turbines it has around the province.
The business is in the process of installing another two turbines, but now it can consider expanding further, the CEO said.
The power corporation said it is requesting proposals from independent power producers for renewable energy projects, including wind.
NSP will add about 130 megawatts of additional renewable energy by the end of 2009, almost enough to power 40,000 homes.
The utility currently includes on its grid enough power from renewable sources to supply about 150,000 homes.
“We’re working with independent power producers to add even more reliable, cost-effective energy from renewable sources,” said Ralph Tedesco, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power.
The announcement does not necessarily mean a huge increase in the number of wind turbines on the landscape.
Nova Scotia Power is seeking bids from developers, large and small, and from different sectors of the energy business, including wind, biomass and hydro. A news release noted up to 30 megawatts of the additional renewable energy is available for small developers.
Turbines have generated more than electricity in some locations, with neighbours complaining about noise.
Daniel d’Entremont said noise from turbines forced he and his family out of their Lower West Pubnico home, located about 300 metres from the 17 turbines operating at the Pubnico Point Wind Farm.
“There is a loud noise, like a roar, of the blades cutting through the air,” Mr. d’Entrement said Monday.
Although he has relocated and is having trouble selling his home, due to its proximity to the wind farm, he remains a supporter of the concept of wind power.
“It was anything but a gentle source of energy for us because the turbines were so close. This is a big province and we do not need to have the turbines so close to people,” he said.
Independent power producers who respond to NSP’s request will be asked to include in their proposals two separate price structures: a base project price and a separate price that reflects provisions of new regulations for the provincial renewable energy standard.
Throughout the province there are more than 40 wind turbines, with electricity also produced by biomass, landfill gas, tides and hydro.
The utility recently initiated planning for the world’s largest in-stream tidal generating facility in the Bay of Fundy.
By Bill Power
13 March 2007
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