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Building wind farms no breeze, P.E.I. discovers

Canada's smallest province is facing some hurdles as it tries to erect more wind turbines in an effort to switch to clean energy sources.

Prince Edward Island plans to get 100 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2015, with half of that from wind energy. The government already owns one wind farm and plans to build a second.

"We want the province to be the North American leader in environmental stewardship, in renewable energy and we can do it," said the province's energy minister, Jamie Ballem.

Some landowners are eager for turbines on their property.

"I think they're great. They're clean energy," said Albert Hackett. "I think I'd like to see it get bigger on the Island here for sure."

While the province has traditionally exported expensive sources of energy from coal, oil and nuclear sources, wind power could bring price stability and make the province an exporter of clean energy.

Provincial officials are also experimenting with turning the wind-produced electricity into hydrogen and storing it for future use.

"The stored hydrogen would be used as a fuel source to generate electricity when the wind isn't blowing," said Mark Victor, with P.E.I. Wind-Hydrogen Village project.

But the province is facing some difficulties in its quest for more turbines.

Private sector investment has been slow,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Prince Edward Island plans to get 100 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2015, with half of that from wind energy. The government already owns one wind farm and plans to build a second.

"We want the province to be the North American leader in environmental stewardship, in renewable energy and we can do it," said the province's energy minister, Jamie Ballem.

Some landowners are eager for turbines on their property.

"I think they're great. They're clean energy," said Albert Hackett. "I think I'd like to see it get bigger on the Island here for sure."

While the province has traditionally exported expensive sources of energy from coal, oil and nuclear sources, wind power could bring price stability and make the province an exporter of clean energy.

Provincial officials are also experimenting with turning the wind-produced electricity into hydrogen and storing it for future use.

"The stored hydrogen would be used as a fuel source to generate electricity when the wind isn't blowing," said Mark Victor, with P.E.I. Wind-Hydrogen Village project.

But the province is facing some difficulties in its quest for more turbines.

Private sector investment has been slow, partly because the province has only recently decided the price it will pay producers for power.

"If private developers say 'Well, we can not make it feasible at that rate, we need this rate,' then you'll see the tire hit the pavement or the wind hit the windmill," said Liberal energy critic Richard Brown.

And the energy minister admits Islanders will pay more for energy.
"There's no question that power rates are going to go up whether it's using wind energy or fossil fuels," said Ballem.

There's also the question of where to put all the large turbines in the country's most densely populated province. Some Islanders want to protect the province's pristine vistas from wind farm development.

"I think it looks really ugly. Don't put them in between the houses. That is ridiculous," said Malpeque resident Jack Wilderom.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/story/can...

DEC 31 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/889-building-wind-farms-no-breeze-p-e-i-discovers
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