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January 29, 2007
For immediate release

Eastern Kings Wind Farm Begins Commercial Operation

Environment, Energy & Forestry

Premier Pat Binns and Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem officially started the first two turbines as the Eastern Kings Wind Farm began commercial operation today.

“This is a milestone in Prince Edward Island’s plan for a greener and more self-sufficient energy future for our province,” said Premier Binns. “The wind farm will supply 7.5 per cent of PEI’s total electricity and will recapture some $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.”

Minister Ballem added that the wind farm contributes to another of Government’s key goals – improved quality of our environment and its sustainability.

“In addition to providing enough clean, renewable energy to power 12,000 homes, the Eastern Kings plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change by 75,000 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 16,000 vehicles off the road.”

Also participating in the official start-up of the Eastern Kings Wind Farm Monday were Souris-Elmira MLA Andy Mooney and Fred O’Brien, President and CEO of Maritime Electric Company Limited. Maritime Electric is purchasing the 30 megawatts of power from the wind farm.

Six turbines were brought online Monday and the other four machines are expected to be in operation by the end of the week. The turbines are Vestas V-90s – the largest turbine in North America. A prototype of the V-90 was first introduced at Norway, near the North Cape Wind Farm, in 2003. The Eastern Kings Wind Farm is the first V-90 wind farm in Canada.

As the wind farm began commercial operation Monday, Premier Binns stressed that this is the Islanders’ wind farm. The facility is owned and operated by the PEI Energy Corporation, a Crown corporation that also owns and operates the North Cape Wind Farm that provides another four per cent of PEI’s electricity.

Islanders have an opportunity to share in the ownership of the Eastern Kings Wind Farm through the purchase of PEI Energy Savings Bonds. Bonds have a guaranteed interest rate of five per cent over five years and qualify for self-directed RRSPs. To date, Islanders have purchased $3.3 million worth of bonds.

For more information on PEI Energy Savings Bonds and the Eastern Kings Wind Farm, visit www.peienergysavings.pe.ca

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Media Contact: Sandra Lambe
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