A Lunenburg County wind farm may get a reprieve from having to pay penalties for being three months behind schedule.
The $200-million South Canoe project, under construction near New Ross, was slated to be producing power by Thursday. But the 34-turbine venture is now expected to be fully operational by April.
A Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman said Tuesday the wind farm’s lead partners gave notice under a contract clause covering uncontrollable events that the project couldn’t meet the Jan. 1 deadline.
“The April date is within the allowable variance,” Beverley Ware said in an interview.
“That means that penalties will not be applied, at this point.”
South Canoe, which will become the province’s largest wind farm, is majority owned by Oxford Frozen Foods and Minas Energy.
The Bragg and Jodrey family companies, backed by Nova Scotia Power, were awarded a contract by the province in 2012 to supply electricity to the grid.
The utility company, which owns a 49 per cent stake in South Canoe, hasn’t said what the penalty would be. But the fine could amount to $15,300 per day, based on an early draft of the contract.
That version of the power purchase agreement was filed with the provincial Utility and Review Board in 2012.
Oxford and Minas’s share would be $7,803. Nova Scotia Power would cover the remaining $7,497.
Ware said Nova Scotia Power sought outside legal advice on the matter.
While the utility agrees that the request to extend the project’s timeline for being operational is valid, the provincial regulator must still approve it, she said.
South Canoe officials have said the wind farm was delayed by an appeal of the Municipality of the District of Chester’s approval of a development agreement for the 102-megawatt venture.
The review board rejected the bid by project opponents in September 2013.
A South Canoe spokeswoman said Tuesday that 20 turbines are on site and at various stages of development.
“Our construction team has been working hard over the past year to complete construction of the wind farm as quickly as possible, and that includes putting up turbines through the challenging winter months,” Mary-Frances Lynch said in an email.
The project remains within its $200-million budget, Lynch said.
The board approved the power company’s share of the venture, a $93-million capital project, in 2013.
One or two turbines are expected to be operational early in the new year, Nova Scotia Power said in a regulatory filing last week.
All turbines should be producing electricity by April, the document said.
The Emera Inc. subsidiary has said it will be able to meet the province’s renewable energy target, which rises to 25 per cent in the new year, even though South Canoe is late.
Nova Scotia has gotten 22 per cent of its electricity this year from renewable sources, including wind, hydro and biomass.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding