Skin­ners Pond added to list

P.E.I. En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion eye­ing West Prince site for 30-megawatt wind farm

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER STAFF SKIN­NERS POND

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

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.

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