New Brunswick feasibility study launched

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Montreal-based Helimax Energy Inc is starting a detailed wind resource assessment and feasibility study for the development of a small wind farm on New Brunswick's Lamèque Island in spring 2002, says the company's Richard Legault. The size will be "within 5 MW," says Legault. "As far as I know it's the only activity in New Brunswick." The C$230,000 feasibility study will be partly financed by a C$100,000 grant from Canada's C$25 million Green Municipal Enabling fund, a program announced in last year's federal budget. The remainder will come from the project's partners, which include Helimax, the Lamèque Co-operative Movement, the University of Moncton, the provincial government and the City of Lamèque, which wants to use wind electricity to power its municipal buildings. The project "falls squarely" under the province's recently released new energy policy, says Helimax. In a ten year plan, which will introduce wholesale competition to New Brunswick's electricity sector and retail competition for large industrial customers, the government outlines a series of measures aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy technologies. Provincially owned New Brunswick Power and the province's three municipal distribution utilities are to be required to develop a green pricing option for consumers and use the profits from green power sales to promote renewables. In addition, the government plans to promote R&D into renewables, undertake demonstration projects, help jump-start the market, and review opportunities for the development of small-scale, on-site electricity generation. New Brunswick currently relies on a mix of hydro, nuclear, coal and oil-fired thermal generation to meet its electricity needs.

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