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EarthFirst buys out Nuttby wind farm  

Calgary firm pays $450,000 plus share of revenue for project

Nova Scotia’s gales blew in a late blast of winter Tuesday, along with a Calgary company determined to create power and make money in this windy province.

EarthFirst Canada Inc., a newly created wind company, announced it has bought the proposed 45-megawatt Nuttby Mountain wind energy project in Colchester County from Atlantic Wind Power Corp. and its partner, Cobequid Area Windfarms.

EarthFirst paid $75,000 cash, along with $374,400 in shares (based on 192,000 shares at $1.95 of EarthFirst) and a small share of gross revenue over the life of the project, Derren Newell, vice-president finance, said in a telephone interview from Calgary.

EarthFirst, which has two other wind projects in B.C., will enter into a service agreement with Atlantic Wind Power to provide services for the construction of the project in exchange for a monthly fee and project completion fee.

Before the project proceeds, the developers must obtain municipal and provincial permits. Negotiations for a turbine sale and warranty and service agreements are underway.

“Nuttby is a good example of EarthFirst’s expertise in acquiring advanced stage wind projects that can be moved forward into construction and operation quickly,” Robert Toole, EarthFirst CEO, said at a news conference. “Our goal is to have the project completed and in service by the end of 2009.”

Nova Scotia Power will purchase the wind-generated power but details of that agreement, including the price paid per kilowatt, were not disclosed.

The wind farm, with up to 22 turbines, will cost $90 million to $100 million and will be located about four kilometres north of the village of Nuttby and six kilometres east of Earltown. The turbines will produce enough energy to power about 15,000 homes.

NSP’s contract with EarthFirst is the second of six agreements for renewable energy resulting from a competitive bidding process announced last year by the privately owned utility. The utility is expected to make another wind purchase announcement on Thursday.

Atlantic Wind Power, also the developer of a proposed wind farm in the Pugwash area, has worked with principals of EarthFirst in developing Nova Scotia’s largest wind farm, at Pubnico Point.

EarthFirst was formed last December after a restructuring of Creststreet, a co-owner of the Pubnico Point wind farm. Creststreet recently put the Pubnico Wind farm up for sale.

Rob Bennett, NSP vice-president of resource and sustainability, filled in for president Ralph Tedesco, who was unable to attend the news conference at the Marigold Centre.

Lisa Betts, chairwoman of the Gulf Shore Preservation Association, which is opposed to Atlantic Wind Power’s other proposed project in Pugwash, endorsed the Nuttby project.

“The Nuttby wind project appears to be well located, with turbines 1.5 kilometres from homes, the majority of local people in favour of it and NSPI transmission lines nearby. . . . This is a good example of how important it is for wind energy companies to strongly consider location as it affects the local population and economic structure,” she said in an e-mail after attending the news conference.

Purchasing more renewable energy is part of NSP’s overall business strategy to use less pollution-causing coal at power plants across the province in the future.

EarthFirst’s share price remained unchanged on Tuesday at $1.95 per share. The stock’s 52-week high is $2.10 and its 52-week low is $1.45.

By Judy Myrden
Business Reporter

The ChronicleHerald

19 March 2008

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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