Newfoundland and Labrador has great potential for wind energy, but is hampered by an “isolated and relatively weak” power grid, a confidential report says.
The report, obtained by CBC News, says the island’s electrical grid will limit the size and potential of wind farm projects, despite a “world-class wind resource” waiting to be tapped.
The report – completed in 2005 by Ontario consulting firm Acres International – says Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro should develop a plan to gradually add small-scale wind energy projects.
Wind energy is expected to be an important component of a long-awaited provincial energy plan. The plan, which was expected to be unveiled in 2006, has been pushed back several times and has not yet been released.
The Acres report suggests the province focus on four projects that would generate about 25 megawatts of power each.
The four locations on the island that Acres consultants identified are at St. Lawrence, Bonavista, the Arches area on the Northern Peninsula and at Bay Bulls, south of St. John’s.
Some of the advice contained in the reports appears to have been heeded.
In July, construction began at St. Lawrence on a wind farm that will generate about 27 megawatts of power – enough to supply energy to about 6,800 households – when it is operational. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with private developer NeWind.
More details on government plans for wind energy could be revealed soon. The government says the energy plan will be released before the Oct. 9 general election.
5 September 2007
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