Eastern P.E.I. wind farm project studying 3 possible locations

A delayed wind farm project in Eastern Kings, P.E.I., is moving forward with the testing of three new possible sites for construction.

Rock Barra, Irishtown or Eastern Kings could become site of new wind farm

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation is testing new locations for a wind farm in Eastern P.E.I. (Pat Martel/CBC)

A delayed wind farm project in Eastern Kings, P.E.I., is moving forward with the testing of three new possible sites for construction.

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation initially planned to build a 30-megawatt development at East Point by 2019.

However, a municipal bylaw change last fall in Eastern Kings that required a two-kilometre setback from the shore meant the corporation had to change its plans.

Heather MacLeod, the manager of energy assets for the corporation, said the setback limits development options.

"As that shrunk our area, we weren't sure whether it could fit 10, 15 turbines," she said.

MacLeod said they have since set up two new meteorological towers in Rock Barra and Irishtown to test as possible new locations for the wind farm, in addition to an Eastern Kings location.

"Generally, you want a year's worth of wind data before you make any final decisions, but within six months we should have a fairly good feeling," she said.

"We'll have some winter wind, some spring wind and we should be able to do some early analysis at that point and determine which is the best location."

What the testing is looking at

MacLeod said the towers will test for wind speed, temperature and changes in wind direction.

The location selected for the wind farm would then have to go through several steps before being approved, including community feedback and an environmental assessment.

Once completed, the new wind farm, which would include about 10 to 15 windmills, should produce 100,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year for Islanders. The electricity generated would be sold to Maritime Electric and should generate about $8 million in revenue. 

MacLeod said the wind farm would be similar to their existing ones in Eastern Kings and Hermanville.

The new wind farm is expected to be operational in 2020.

With files from Brittany Spencer