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Exploring Nova Scotia potential -- Turbines spread over five regions

A Nova Scotia company says it will launch a C$24 million wind exploration program that involves the installation of 18-20 utility-scale wind turbines in five regions throughout the Atlantic Canada province. The company plans to install turbines at five sites this fall and expects to have all turbines up and operating over the next 14 months.

Nova Scotia's Renewable Energy Services Ltd (RESL) says it will launch a C$24 million wind exploration program that involves the installation of 18-20 utility-scale wind turbines in five regions throughout the Atlantic Canada province. The company plans to install turbines at five sites this fall and expects to have all turbines up and operating over the next 14 months, says Moira MacDonald, speaking for the company. RESL is using Vestas V47 660 kW turbines for its exploration work.

Data gathered from the turbines will be used to determine the development potential for full-scale wind farms, says RESL boss Larry LeBlanc. "RESL has been collecting data for four years which enables us to move forward confidently with our exploration phase, he says. "Nova Scotia has a need to develop alternative energy resources to compliment our existing forms of energy. Our current data shows enormous potential for this renewable resource."

tax law

Much of the work RESL is doing in its exploration phase will qualify under the Canadian Conservation and Renewable Expenses (CRCE) program, a tax law that allows wind developers to claim certain pre-development expenses, including the installation of test wind turbines, and flow them through to shareholders who can use them as deductions on their income tax.

The company, which failed to reach agreement on a power purchase agreement last year after winning Nova Scotia Power's request for proposals for 100 GWh/year of wind, has met with the monopoly utility and agreed on the "general terms of power sales" from the exploration turbines, which are expected to produce 48 GWh a year, says MacDonald. RESL would not disclose any details.

Nova Scotia Power's chief operating officer, Ralph Tedesco, has weighed in publicly on RESL's plan. "The project is a significant one, both in terms of dollars committed and the amount of renewable energy it aims to bring onto the provincial grid. Our company is supportive of this project and its goals," he says.

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