Canada

Canada

Industry newcomer builds first major wind farm in New Brunswick

New Brunswick Power has picked an industry newcomer to build the province's first wind farm. Eastern Wind Power, based in New Brunswick, was selected from five bidders in a request for proposals issued by the utility in December. It is finalising the terms of a 20 year contract with the utility for the output and environmental attributes of the 20 MW project, to be installed at Dark Harbour on the western coast of Grand Manan Island, about 35 kilometres from the mainland in the Bay of Fundy. Eastern Wind is a subsidiary of Vancouver's Western Wind Energy Inc, which has wind farms under development in California and Arizona. The Dark Harbour project will consist of 11-14 turbines. Eastern Wind's Paul Woodhouse expects site work to begin this fall and hopes to have the turbines delivered by winter for a production start by fall 2005. Woodhouse sees New Brunswick as the "anchor point" for the company's growth, although it is ready to consider opportunities in other Canadian provinces, particularly on the Atlantic coast. New Brunswick Power has said it wants to buy 100 MW of wind by 2010. The provincial government is in the process of designing a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) to come into effect when New Brunswick's electricity market opens to limited competition on October 1. An RPS is legislation that requires electricity retailers to acquire green power certificates to demonstrate that a specified proportion of their electricity sales came from renewables.

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