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Summerside seeking proposals for additional 16 megawatts of electricity

The four wind turbines that have become emblematic of the City of Summerside are getting some company.

The city is looking to generate another 16 megawatts of electricity locally to feed current and future demands of its municipally-owned power utility.

Council passed a motion Monday approving a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a company to provide the power.

Mayor Bill Martin said this is an exciting development for the community’s future.

“This is essentially saying to the world that we’re interested in an additional 16 megawatts of generation – and my hope would be that it would be green,” said Martin.

The motion passed by council does not specifically say that the new capacity must be green energy, but given Martin’s comments and other recent developments in the city, it would appear to be municipality’s preference.

Last week, the city announced a partnership with Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. to build and a battery for solar power-collected energy at Credit Union Place.

At that time, Martin said the city and Samsung had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding a larger three-phase project. Phase one is the battery construction in addition to the addition of 1,300 solar panels to Credit Union Place, while phase two would be the construction of a large solar/wind farm somewhere in or around the city. Samsung Renewable Energy would construct the generation capacity and the city would enter into an agreement to buy the power.

The RFP council approved Monday represents phase two of the overall plan. But while the city has an MOU with Samsung Renewable Energy regarding all three phases, it is open to hear proposals from competitors regarding phases two and three.

“It wouldn’t just be Samsung necessarily that could respond to the RFP. It could (for example) be someone from Ontario that’s in the solar business that says ‘Hey, Summerside, P.E.I., I can build you a solar garden and I want to enter into an agreement,’” said Martin.