Province gets its first two turbines -- Planning manufacture in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has officially become a player in Canada's wind energy industry with the installation of the province's first two wind turbines. The first, a Turbowinds 600 kW unit from Belgium erected in the province's southwest, was connected to Nova Scotia Power transmission grid in late September. The second, a Vestas 600 kW installed on the northwest coast, followed about three weeks later.

Nova Scotia Power, the province's monopoly utility, owns both turbines and will sell their output to its customers as premium-priced green power. It charges a C$5 premium for each 125 kWh block. "With its commitment to innovative energy sources, Nova Scotia Power is helping to bring the province's energy strategy to life," said the province's energy minister, Gordon Balser, at a ceremony celebrating the completion of the two projects. The utility is also expected to soon announce the results of its call for 100 GWh of wind power (Windpower Monthly, June 2002).

For Turbowinds, the installation of its first large scale machine in North America is a "giant step forward," says George Klass, vice-president of Turbowinds Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Belgian manufacturer. "It has already raised the level of interest, and has given us much more credibility. It is going to move us a great way forward, I feel."

Two years ago, Turbowinds Canada announced plans to begin manufacturing wind turbines in Nova Scotia but has yet to set up a plant. Klass, however, says the company's plans are as strong as ever.

"Progress has been slower than we anticipated. In Canada, I think that things are slower than most of us envisioned. We haven't seen the meteoric growth we had hoped for. However, there is consistent interest, it is growing, and we are seeing a few provinces beginning to take wind seriously."