UPDATE: P.E.I. plans more wind power, part of newly released energy strategy

Published on March 17, 2017

Wind turbines

©TC MEDIA/File Photo

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The fact P.E.I. is adding more wind power is proof that Islanders are getting better at conserving energy, says the manager of Efficiency P.E.I.

Mike Proud was reacting Friday to the announcement that the province has developed a new 10-year plan that includes another 30 megawatts of wind power by 2019-20 and another 40 megawatts by 2025-26.

“As we become more efficient with effective use of the energy we can put on those kinds of systems,’’ Proud said.

Efficiency P.E.I. provides programs, rebates and information for Islanders who are interested in reducing their day-to-day energy consumption.

“Wind turbines only blow when the wind blows so if you’re wasting energy then you’re wasting all that opportunity. The more efficient you can get then it allows you to get more wind into the system.’’

The 10-year plan includes expanding the mandate and structure of Efficiency P.E.I. to create a one-stop shop for Islanders looking to reduce their energy consumption and costs.

Proud said it’s too early to say what the new plan might mean for them.

“It depends on the budget and what’s available and (government) partnerships. I think people will be pleased with what comes out over the next 12 to 18 months but it’s going to take some time to roll this stuff out.’’

The province is also promising to adopt the National Building Code and National Energy Code for Buildings provincewide to ensure more energy-efficient buildings.

There will also be a newly established transportation committee to encourage the reduction of fossil fuel consumption in vehicles.

The plan also includes monitoring developments in solar power and energy storage to test and demonstrate innovative energy systems.

Scott Harper, chief executive officer of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEIC), is pleased to see the goal of installing more wind energy into the grid.

“We are also encouraged to see the interest in further energy storage demonstrations, an area that WEIC has been working in for the past three years,’’ Harper said, “and we look forward to working with government and other stakeholders to develop projects and concepts best suited for the people of Prince Edward Island.’’

Energy Minister Paula Biggar said the strategy will reduce the province’s overall reliance on fossil fuels, “lower greenhouse gas emissions and help Islanders conserve energy and save money.’’