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Canada

Canada

Below budget and above expectations

The Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation has completed construction of a 5.3 MW wind farm, the Maritime province's first utility-scale wind generation project, at a cost of C$9.36 million. The eight Vestas 660 kW wind turbines are sited at North Cape, a windswept piece of land that juts just far enough into the Gulf of St Lawrence to capture a premium wind resource. The wind farm was completed under budget and early indications suggest it will exceed its projected annual output of 16.6 GWh.

The Prince Edward Island (PEI) Energy Corporation has completed construction of a 5.3 MW wind farm, the Maritime province's first utility-scale wind generation project, at a cost of C$9.36 million. The eight Vestas V47 660 kW wind turbines are sited at North Cape, a windswept piece of land that juts just far enough into the Gulf of St Lawrence to capture a premium wind resource. "The studies we have done over the last 15 years very clearly show that the best wind resource by far is at North Cape," says Carl Brothers, manager of the neighbouring Atlantic Wind Test Site.

The wind farm, says Brothers, was completed under budget and early indications suggest it will exceed its projected annual output of 16.6 GWh. "It's been a pretty encouraging project," he says. The support the project has received from province has also been encouraging, adds Brothers. The government-owned PEI Energy Corporation developed the wind farm, backstopped by a loan guarantee from the province. The provincial government will also buy about 3 GWh of premium priced wind power a year. "I think I can says with fully objectivity that if there's a province in Canada we can count as a strong supporter of wind energy," says Brothers, "I think Prince Edward Island would be it."

Canada's federal government is also a major customer of the North Cape project, signing up for 13 GWh a year to power its facilities in PEI. The island's utility, Maritime Electric, has developed a green power program to market the project's remaining output to its 66,000 customers for a premium of C$1.75 for 50 kWh. It's only the third full-fledged green power program in Canada and the first outside of Alberta, which introduced retail competition to its electricity market almost a year ago.

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