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January 7, 2004
For immediate release

Province Doubles Wind Energy Capacity

Environment & Energy

With eight new wind turbines up and operating at the North Cape Wind Farm, Prince Edward Island is now generating enough wind energy to power nearly 6,500 homes.

Minister of Environment and Energy Jamie Ballem said the new 660-watt turbines bring the electrical generation capacity to 10.56 megawatts.

"That means that approximately four per cent of Islander's energy needs are being met by the North Cape Wind Farm. Combined with the recent commissioning of the V-90, North America's largest wind machine, Prince Edward Island is getting five per cent of its electricity through this clean and renewable energy source. That is quite an accomplishment in two years."

Owned and operated by the PEI Energy Corporation, the North Cape Wind Farm opened in November 2001 with eight turbines generating 5.28 megawatts of electricity. The corporation invested $850,000 of the earnings from Phase 1 in the $7.6 million Phase 2 expansion. Minister Ballem said that further investment in wind energy provides Prince Edward Island with increased energy security and represents a significant additional commitment to protecting the environment.

"The more energy we generate from wind, the less energy we need to generate from fossil fuels. As a result, energy produced at the North Cape Wind Farm will displace 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful pollutants each year," he said.

Carbon dioxide is the principle greenhouse gas associated with climate change. Increasing the use of renewable energy including wind energy was one of the priorities identified in the climate change agreement signed recently between the Governments of Prince Edward Island and Canada.

Through the federal Wind Power Production Incentive program, Minister Ballem said the PEI Energy Corporation will receive approximately one cent per kilowatt-hour for all power produced from the Phase 2 turbines until 2010.

The Energy Corporation is selling the electricity generated from the expansion to Maritime Electric Company Limited at 90 per cent of what it would have cost the power utility to purchase the energy from off-Island. In addition, Islanders buying green energy from Maritime Electric have seen the price they are paying drop from 3.5 cents to 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

"Revenues from Phase 1 actually exceeded expectations so the Energy Corporation is able to not only sell the Phase 2 energy to Maritime Electric at a cheaper price, but also to reinvest earnings in future wind energy developments in Prince Edward Island," Minister Ballem said.

As part of the Renewable Energy Strategy, wind power is expected to provide the province with at least 10 per cent of its electrical energy by 2010. Over the next several months, Minister Ballem said the PEI Energy Corporation will be developing plans to assess the wind resources in other regions of the province.

"The Government of Prince Edward Island is committed to continuing to be a leader in the promotion and development of wind power," the Minister said. "The North Cape Wind Farm has been an unqualified success. Now we want to see if that can be duplicated in other areas of Prince Edward Island."

Media Contact: Sandra Lambe
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