Skinners Pond added to list
P.E.I. Energy Corporation eyeing West Prince site for 30-megawatt wind farm
The Skinners Pond area is being considered for a new 30-megawatt wind farm.
The P.E.I. Energy Corporation, a Crown entity, is considering three areas for its next slate of wind turbines - including Eastern Kings, Irishtown and now Skinners Pond.
The latter is a late addition to the process, said Heather MacLeod, manager of energy assets for the corporation. Originally, the agency was examining Rock Barra, near the existing Hermanville Wind Farm, as its third option, but wind tests in the area proved the potential for energy is less than originally hoped. Skinners Pond replaced it on the list under consideration. MacLeod explained that Skinners Pond has been under review by a private wind energy developer for some time, but has not been developed because the market price for wind energy has declined in recent years.
P.E.I. Energy Corporation sells wind electricity to Maritime Electric, which then distributes it to customers almost exclusively on the Island.
This arrangement makes it less concerned with prices on the open market.
“We knew private developers had been looking at western P.E.I. and we have our wind farm in North Cape and a single turbine in Norway already – so we knew there was a good resource there already,” explained MacLeod. The corporation has a memorandum of understanding with the owner of the Skinners Pond wind data, which gives them access to it. That company will be compensated for their data should the province move ahead with a wind farm at the site.
In the meantime, P.E.I. Energy Corporation has retained a firm to conduct environmental impact assessments at each of the three sites under construction. MacLeod said she hopes to pick a preferred site by February and start focusing the potential development there. Once a preferred site is located the process will be opened for public input.
When P.E.I. released its provincial energy strategy in March of 2017, one of the recommendations called for the expansion of locally produced energy, specifically the addition of another 30 megawatts of wind power by 2019. That goal has now been pushed to 2020. MacLeod also added that for the first time P.E.I. Energy Corporation will be including energy storage when it sends this project out for a request for proposals.
The wind farm at North Cape. Both the Wind Energy Institute of Canada and the P.E.I. Energy Corporation own wind turbines at the farm.