PCs propose solar farm for Borden fabrication yard

There have been a number of ideas for the fabrication yard in Borden since the province bought the land almost ten years ago, but the latest came from the Official Opposition Tuesday, who suggested it be turned into a solar farm.

The province bought the land in 2009 and the area has remained undeveloped

The Official Opposition says the fabrication yard in Borden-Carleton is a prime location for a solar farm. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

There have been a number of ideas for the old fabrication yard in Borden since the province bought the land almost ten years ago. The latest came from the Official Opposition Tuesday, suggesting it be turned into a solar farm.

Progressive-Conservative MLA Matthew MacKay said the party wants to see the province invest more in solar technology and the fabrication yard seems like an ideal spot.

"It's 112 acres of infrastructure that the government currently owns," he said. "We thought [the land] is out of the way, there's no housing around it, government currently owns it and it would be prime location."

MacKay added that solar panels could be placed on the cement pillars already in the yard.

Negotiations with metal company

Strait Crossing originally purchased the land to build components of the Confederation Bridge during construction. 

The province bought the land in 2009 for just over $350,000, and it has remained undeveloped, despite several attempts to restore the property, including the removal of the giant concrete pillars on the site. 

The province installed ladders to the wharf attached to the yard this summer, but the site has remained closed to the public since last year for safety reasons

Minister for Economic Development and Tourism Chris Palmer said his department is currently in negotiations with a metal company for temporary use of part of the yard to build components for the wharf in Charlottetown. 

He said the existing cement pillars in the yard wouldn't be removed but potentially used by the company in the building process.

No significant offers

While he's never received any significant offers to buy the yard, Palmer said he's open to other ideas on how to use it in the meantime.

"It is a really significant asset. We're lucky to have that jetty that goes into deep water and in that fabrication yard, that's really built for moving product around," he said. "We need to find out what the best use of that is before we were to lose that opportunity.' 

Palmer said he's also recently spoken with the incoming mayor of Borden-Carleton about the yard.

"It wasn't a priority for us to look at things to develop in Borden. There are other places where they'd like to spend their energy and their effort to make improvements."

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