PEI

P.E.I. facility getting $660K from feds to combine solar and wind energy

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada is getting help from the federal government to add half an acre of solar panels, about 100 kilowatts worth, to its wind turbine substation in Norway, P.E.I.

Will allow research into how 2 renewable energy sources complement each other

Scott Harper, executive director of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, says he hopes to have the solar panel system online this time next year. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada is getting help from the federal government to add half an acre of solar panels, about 100 kilowatts worth, to its wind turbine substation in Norway, P.E.I.

The federal government announced Friday it is spending $660,000 on the addition.

"The world needs green energy," said Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey.

The generated power will be stored in a battery system that will also be installed as part of the funding. 

"Whoever comes up with the software and technology to better manage green energy load, whether it is solar or wind, with battery technology — that is the bar that this industry must overcome to grow," Morrissey said.

The batteries will store the energy, then release it based on Maritime Electric's needs, said Scott Harper, executive director of the institute.

Combining wind and solar

He said the installation of solar panels will allow research into how the two renewable energy sources complement each other.

Harper said the institute has been focused on integrating wind into the grid the last couple years.

"When utilities are looking at what is coming in as wind they are looking at what it is mixed with and utilities across the country are getting little bits of solar and more and more solar," he said.

"So it would be good to be on the leading edge of that with wind and solar coming from the same source."

Harper said he hopes the system is online by this time next year.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Tom Steepe

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