PEI Four Island rinks getting new wind turbines
By Alyssa Dalton
Starting spring 2011, community rinks in Murray River, Crapaud, Kensington and Alberton will begin reaping the benefits of renewable energy through wind generation. Last month, Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Ron MacKinley, provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister, and Richard Brown, minister of Environment Energy and Forestry, announced that the four rinks have been approved for funding under the net metering initiative, which is focused on the installation of renewable energy through wind generation at community ice rinks.
“The wind turbines installed at these four community rinks will help the venues to use renewable energy which will ease the burden on the power grid, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately improve the environment,” said Shea.
Net metering allows them to effectively store that energy without installing a battery system, thus directly affecting the economics and pay-back period for the generation equipment, she explained.
The Wind Energy Institute of Canada evaluated 17 proposals from rinks across Prince Edward Island for the net metering initiative. Four of the applicants qualified for the program.
Each project will be supported with $164,000 from the Federal Gas Tax Fund administered by the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, plus $87,250 from the Trust Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change administered by the provincial Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry. The communities will provide $70,000 for each wind turbine installation.
“The interest generated by this program shows Island communities continue to support green alternatives to traditional, non-renewable power production,” said MacKinley.
“Not only will this project allow rinks in rural Prince Edward Island to reduce their environmental impact and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also reduce their operating costs over the long term,” he said.