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April 15, 2010
For immediate release

Island Wind Energy Projects One Step Closer to Reality

Environment, Energy & Forestry

Five Island ice rinks are closer to reaping the benefits of renewable energy thanks to important progress on a project designed to harness the power of wind. The Net Metering Initiative aims to install wind turbines at community rinks to reduce operating costs and reliance on fossil fuels.

“This program is a direct reflection of the province’s commitment to renewable energy and wind power,” said the Honorable Ron MacKinley, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Not only will this project help these rinks save money, but it will also ease the burden on the power grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

First announced in December 2008, the Net Metering Initiative is focussed on the installation of renewable energy through wind generation at community ice rinks. Net metering increases investment in renewable energy technologies without placing an excessive burden on electric service providers since it enables a customer to offset consumption costs through the generation of electricity.

"This project is a great example of smaller community-based wind initiatives which are part of PEI's Energy Strategy," said the Honourable Richard Brown, Minister of Environment. "Making our rinks more energy efficient supports our efforts to build sustainable communities all across Prince Edward Island and reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy."

Funding for the Net Metering Program is split three ways with 40% (up to $100,000) coming from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, 32% (up to $80,000) coming from the provincial Trust Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change and the remaining amount from the project applicant.

Following information sessions held to inform operators of community rinks about the Initiative after the original announcement, nineteen letters of interest were submitted to the Wind Energy Institute of Canada for qualification. Site visits to each rink were conducted to determine suitability for the installation of a wind turbine. The project will now move forward to select the five rinks where turbines will be installed. Over the coming weeks, rinks that met the original criteria, including community support of the project, positive environmental considerations and sustainability of existing infrastructure, will be approached to determine their ability to participate in the program. Five rinks will be selected over the coming months and work to construct turbines could start as early as this summer.

For more information on infrastructure program in Prince Edward Island, visit

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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