Ten community wind-turbine contracts valued collectively at about $50 million received clearance Thursday to proceed at locations across the province.
"These projects add millions to the provincial economy, and the exciting thing is these facilities will be entirely owned by Nova Scotians," said Dan Roscoe, chief executive officer at Scotian WindFields Inc., which has one of the larger contracts approved by Nova Scotia Power.
Nova Scotia Power awarded contracts for about 20 megawatts of electricity to be supplied from the renewable energy projects. The utility said 20 megawatts of wind power is enough to power about 6,500 homes.
Many of the projects are backed by local investors and community development organizations.
Scotian WindFields will have turbines at Granville Ferry, Dunvegan and Isle Madame.
"Lots of people associated with these projects are cheering this latest development," said Mr. Roscoe in an interview.
He estimated the collective value of the projects would include turbine purchases, engineering and installation.
Ten wind turbine projects are included in six power-purchase agreements signed by the utility.
"Now that we have a power-purchase agreement in place, the really fun stuff begins and we start to build," said David Swan, president of Colchester-Cumberland WindField Inc. This community project features a turbine at Spidell Hill near Tatamagouche.
Negotiations continue with an additional community-based wind project, and the utility indicated a deal should be in place to allow it to proceed in a few weeks.
Besides the Colchester-Cumberland and Scotian WindFields projects, the list of successful bidders includes Infinite Energy Ltd., with a turbine at Cape North; Black River Wind Ltd., with turbines located at Creignish Rear, South Cape Mabou and Irish Mountain; Watts Wind Energy Inc., with a turbine at Watt Section Sheet Harbour; and Wind Prospect Inc., with a turbine at Fairmont, Antigonish County.
Nova Scotia Power claims these projects, combined with five new wind farms scheduled to be online this year, will bring the province’s wind generation to a total capacity of 275 megawatts.
Rob Bennett, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power, said the utility is committed to incorporating more renewable energy into its generation mix.
"We are proud to be able to work with small community-based projects to bring more green energy to Nova Scotia and to create new economic development opportunities in the province at an important time for our economy," he said in a news release.