PEI·Video

Where the wind blows: Jay Scotland shoots the breeze in North Cape, P.E.I.

It may be just a small community in western P.E.I., but anyone who knows about wind energy has probably heard of North Cape.

North Cape provides ideal conditions to harness wind energy

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland with Scott Harper, CEO of the Wind Energy Institute of P.E.I., at the North Cape wind farm. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

It may be just a small community in western P.E.I., but anyone who studies wind energy has probably heard of North Cape.

The area has been a test site for wind energy since 1981. It's currently home to the Wind Energy Institute of P.E.I., a not-for-profit that generates and sells power from five 2-megawatt turbines.

Jay explores the Wind Energy Institute of P.E.I. 3:08

Scott Harper, the institute's CEO, says North Cape has a wind that's "uncomparable."

We've been in many countries where as soon as you mention you're from North Cape, P.E.I., they know exactly where you're coming from.— Scott Harper

"In the very small wind energy technical research world, this site is well known," he told CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland.

"We've been in many countries where as soon as you mention you're from North Cape, P.E.I., they know exactly where you're coming from."

North Cape has the benefit of about 300 degrees of exposure to the ocean, making for a 'nice, steady wind' off the water, Harper says. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Not only is the wind strong in North Cape, Harper said, but it also has the advantage of about 300 degrees of exposure to the ocean.

"If the wind is coming off the water, there's very low turbulence. It's a nice, steady wind that the wind turbines just love."

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation also operates a wind farm in the area, one of three in the province. (The others are in in East Point and Hermanville.)

According to the province, P.E.I. generates 25 per cent of its own electricity from wind, the second-highest percentage in the world.

The Wind Energy Institute of P.E.I. generates and sells power from five 10-megawatt turbines in North Cape. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

The province said it plans to increase wind energy production in the coming years.

But Harper said it can't rely totally on wind energy. He said the new cables installed under the Northumberland Strait are necessary to maintain a mix of energy sources.

"I don't think we're going to be successful telling Islanders the days the wind is not blowing that they can't use electricity."