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Wind projects receive $57m

The partners in four community-based wind projects in Nova Scotia have secured $57 million in financing for the ventures.

An official with developer juwi Wind Canada said Thursday there are advantages to having joint financing in place for the 24 megawatts in projects, each of which is owned separately.

The projects also benefit from working together on construction and equipment, Ilan Caplan said.

“The economies of scale almost necessitate doing that to make the economics work,” juwi’s finance director said in an interview from North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo.

Financing was arranged by Travelers Capital Corp. of Burnaby, B.C., with funding from Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

The projects include 10-mega- watt Chebucto Pockwock in Upper Hammonds Plains; six-megawatt Millbrook and four-megawatt Truro Heights, both in the Truro area; and four-megawatt Whynotts, near Bridgewater.

The total investment in the projects will be about $75 million, juwi said.

Eskasoni First Nation holds a 25 per cent stake in the Truro Heights project while Millbrook First Nation has a 51 per cent ownership of the neighbouring wind farm.

Chebucto Pockwock Lake Wind Field Ltd., a community economic development investment fund, owns 25 per cent of the Chebucto Pockwock project.

Whynotts Mi’kmaq Wind Ltd., a subsidiary of an investment partnership owned by the 13 Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq bands and managed by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, owns 51 per cent of the Whynotts venture.

Firelight Infrastructure Partners of Toronto is also a partner in the wind farms, having acquired juwi’s equity stake in late 2013.

Early site work, in preparation for 12 turbines at the sites, is now underway. Commercial operation is expected by the end of the year. Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade said road construction for his band’s project began earlier this month.

“We expect turbines to start arriving here by mid-July,” he said. “Those are already en route.”

The turbines are being supplied by Vestas of Germany. The four ventures are being developed under Nova Scotia’s community feed-in tariff program, which encourages local ownership of renewable energy projects.