Nova Scotia Power is asking independent power producers interested in developing 50 MW of wind energy in the Atlantic province to register their interest. NS Power says it will compile a shortlist of potential projects by fall and plans to sign long term contracts with successful bidders "as soon as possible." Right now, Nova Scotia's supply mix is dominated by fossil fuels. The decision to install 50 MW of wind, about 2% of the province's generating capacity, signals a "new direction" in energy production, says the utility's Joan McDougall. The utility plans to launch a green power program and has talked with the federal government about buying renewable energy to power its facilities in the province. The 50 MW solicitation comes on top of NS Power's purchase of two 600 kW wind turbines, one from Vestas and one from Belgium-based Turbowinds, to be operational by the end of the year to demonstrate the viability of wind technology. "But we've quickly overtaken that with the realisation that we want a significant amount of wind power," says the utility's Margaret Murphy. It feels independent producers are better positioned to deliver it. Electricity demand in the province is increasing, and Murphy expects wind power capacity to grow along with it. "Customers can drive this program as far as they want to take it," she says.