Nearly a quarter wind powered

Prince Edward Island (PEI) utility Summerside Electric will be serving 23% of its load with wind once power starts flowing from the first phase of Ventus Energy's 99 MW West Cape Wind Farm. Summerside has contracted to buy 9 MW of the output for 20 years, more than enough to meet the PEI government's requirement that utilities acquire at least 15% of their electrical energy from renewable resources by 2010. The utility serves the city of Summerside's 15,000 residents.

"For Summerside Electric to have wind energy provide almost a quarter of its annual total load is a tremendous achievement. It is another sign of the strong commitment Islanders have to renewable energy," says PEI energy minister Jamie Ballem.

Ventus, based in Toronto, plans to build the West Cape project in two stages. The first phase, consisting of 11 Vestas 1.8 MW turbines, started construction last month. Construction of phase two, consisting of another 44 Vestas 1.8 MW machines, will begin in late summer 2007. The Summerside contract is the only power purchase agreement associated with the wind farm that has been announced.

Wellington Financial Fund III, a privately held specialty finance firm based in Toronto, took the lead on a C$29 million debenture financing that will be used to complete the construction of West Cape's first phase, as well as the 9 MW Norway Wind Park, which Ventus is also building in PEI. That project has a 20 year contract with the government owned PEI Energy Corporation.

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