More wind power blowing this way

Jason Malloy
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BROOKFIELD - Contracts to build enough wind turbines to power 58,000 homes are expected to be inked by the end of the year, says Nova Scotia Power's top executive.

BROOKFIELD - Contracts to build enough wind turbines to power 58,000 homes are expected to be inked by the end of the year, says Nova Scotia Power's top executive.

Ralph Tedesco said it is entering final negotiations with six developers at eight different locations, including properties in Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties. The 20-year contracts are worth $1.5 billion and the construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2009.

"Our intent is to have signed power purchasing agreements in place by the end of the year," he said following an announcement in Brookfield. "In this way, Nova Scotians can not only enjoy more wind energy but, as I like to call it, they can enjoy invisible gold that these machines take great advantage of."

The proposals include small installation of one or two turbines to projects eclipsing the largest wind farm in Nova Scotia, which currently has 17 turbines.

"They run the gamut from small developers to large international players," Tedesco said. Because of negotiations he could not disclose further information about the companies involved.

Currently there are 17,000 homes powered by the more than 40 wind turbines spread across the province.

The proposed contracts "will quadruple the installed wind capacity now on the ground," said Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald.

The province has a goal of having 20 per cent of its power coming from renewable energy sources by 2020. Currently the province is at about 13 per cent but the new contracts could expand that to 15.

"Just a few years ago a wind turbine was a rare site in Nova Scotia now they have become part of the landscape," MacDonald said.

And there is more potential regarding green energy projects on the horizon.

"We are nearly doubling the amount of green energy in Nova Scotia in the next six years," said Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt. "The Bay of Fundy may just be the best site for tidal power generated in all of North America."

Tedesco said OpenHydro, an Ireland company, will be installing a marine turbine by 2009.

"If this technology works out … there could be hundreds of megawatts of clear tidal power coming out of the bay."

Green energy projects, like wind and tidal power, can help stabilize prices for consumers.

"It helps disconnect us from these volatile international fuel markets,"

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: BROOKFIELD, Nova Scotia, Colchester Pictou Bay of Fundy North America Ireland

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