New wind turbine test centre opened on Prince Edward Island

A new wind power research and development facility was opened October 11 at the blustery north-western tip of Prince Edward Island. The Canadian Wind Energy Institute (CanWEI), located at North Cape, will focus on testing and certification, research, and public education. The 730 square-metre building is equipped with laboratories and workshop areas designed to meet the needs of both large and small scale projects. It will, says executive director Ann Forbes, help "carve out a niche" for Canada in wind energy development. The independent, no-profit organisation is expected to work in collaboration with universities, colleges and other research institutions, private sector companies, governments and utilities. The federal government contributed C$3.5 million to the construction of CanWEI and will provide C$2 million over two years for the institute's operating costs for the first five years. PEI contributed the land and will kick in C$285,000 a year for operating expenses. Funding for the institute will also come from the earnings of the government-owned PEI Energy Corporation's 10.56 MW North Cape Wind Farm.