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Confederation Bridge fabrication yard could be turned into solar and wind farm

The Prince Edward Island government is investigating the possibility of developing solar and wind power production at the former Strait Crossing fabrication yard in Borden-Carleton.

The province announced Friday it is calling for expressions of interest to develop a feasibility study to convert the former Strait Crossing fabrication yard in Borden-Carleton to a green energy farm.

“The former fabrication yard is an incredibly important strategic asset for the region and for the province as a whole,” said Economic Development Minister Heath MacDonald.

“Although it wasn’t feasible when the province first purchased the facility, we decided it was important to have another look at renewable energy at this location, given the recent advancements in the technology and our province’s emergence since then as a leader in producing clean energy.”

The minister also stressed that this project is only one of several options being considered for the site.

Taxpayers purchased the facility, which is more than 100 acres, from Strait Crossing in 2008. The land has been largely unused since construction on the Confederation Bridge finished in 1997.

Borden-Carleton Mayor Dean Sexton said Friday he was reserving judgment on the idea until he’d had a chance to hear more from residents.

“They did call me about this a few weeks back … but I told them at the time that whatever they proposed there, I would have to see what the feelings from the residents would be on that before I would give them our opinion,” said Sexton.

But at least one person who lives near the yard, likes the idea of something, anything, happening at the fabrication yard.

“Any progress on anything is welcome,” said Margaret Wedge, who operates her business, Island Petwear, out of her home on Carleton Street.

She realizes that wind turbines in particular are not always embraced by prospective neighbours, but in her opinion, the yard is large enough that such a project shouldn’t be too intrusive.

“The thing about the fabrication yard is that they could build a Trump tower in the middle of it and it wouldn’t be close to anybody. It’s a very poor-looking site and any involvement in changing that to something else, whether it be partially or wholly, (is a good thing),” she said.

The call for expressions of interest is appearing in Island newspapers today (Saturday) and can be viewed online at www.gov.pe.ca/tenders. Proposals will be accepted until 2 p.m., Feb. 16.