Cost stalls renewable-energy bids in P.E.I.

Prince Edward Island puts on hold 130 megawatts from renewable-energy projects because all the bids are too costly.

Prince Edward Island has officially put on hold renewable-energy projects promising 130 megawatts because all the proposals are too costly.

Six companies made submissions in February to build the projects, mostly for wind development. They were assessed by Maritime Electric, the province's main electricity supplier.

Energy Minister Richard Brown announced in the legislature Wednesday they've all been rejected because the electricity costs were too high.

"We have a wind farm on Prince Edward Island. We know what [cost] we can produce wind for," said Brown.

"Maritime Electric analyzed the bids and, with the current prices that were in them and with the transmission costs and the additional costs that we would have to put in place in terms of infrastructure, the pricing wasn't good enough for Islanders."

Energy critic Mike Currie doesn't understand why a private company should have the power to evaluate energy projects for the province.

"I think that Maritime Electric just doesn't want to do any more wind projects on Prince Edward Island," said Currie. "Why the minister has made them part of the evaluation process is beyond me."

The plan was to sell 30 megawatts on P.E.I. and export the rest.

It's possible that could still happen. The companies have been given 30 days to fine-tune their proposals and resubmit them.