Prince Edward Island set to meet renewables target three years early

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Prince Edward Island's newest and largest wind project, the Eastern Kings Wind Farm of ten Vestas 3 MW turbines came on line in January, bringing the Atlantic province close to meeting its legislated renewable electricity target three years ahead of schedule. "The wind farm will supply 7.5% of PEI's total electricity and will recapture some C$8 million in energy spending annually. That's money that will stay on-Island, contributing to the PEI economy instead of leaving the province to import fossil fuels," according to the premier of Canada's smallest province, Pat Binns. Aside from the island's wind power, PEI's 137,000 residents gets all of their electricity via undersea cable from New Brunswick. About 12.5% of PEI's electricity is now met with wind. The province is expecting to hit its goal of 15% by 2010 this spring, says the energy ministry's Sandra Lambe, when Toronto-based Ventus Energy's 9 MW Norway project of Vestas 3 MW units is to start commercial operation. The projected cost of the Eastern Kings project was C$56 million, although Lambe says it is expected to come in under budget. It is owned and operated by the government-owned PEI Energy Corporation, but islanders may invest in the project through the purchase of PEI energy savings bonds, which have a guaranteed interest rate of 5% a year for five years. By the end of January, islanders had bought C$3.3 million worth of bonds.

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