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Wind turbines proposed for Aspotogan

by Paula Levy

 CHESTER - AnaiaGlobal Renewable Energies was before Chester Municipal Council last week to pitch a renewable energy project.

 The company, a partnership of Grupo Guascor of Spain and Membertou First Nation, is visiting municipalities to market renewable energy ventures. At Chester council, the company made a presentation on a wind energy project for the Aspotogan Peninsula. Another Lunenburg County area of interest stretches from Upper Kingsburg to Second Peninsula in the Municipality of Lunenburg.

 Business developer Rodrigo Moura said the business opportunity would help the province reach its renewable energy goals of 25 per cent by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020.

 It is expected that the latter target could be met largely through the development of hydroelectricity at Labrador's Churchill Falls.

 "Our view is that ... most of the difference between the 25 and the 40 per cent will be fulfilled by Lower Churchill. We see the opportunities right now. We don't see much opportunities after 2015," said Mr. Moura.

 In order to achieve the targets, Nova Scotia is implementing a COMFIT (Community-Based Feed-In Tariff) program, with the objective of generating at least 100 megawatts from smaller-scale renewable energy projects.

 That's where AnaiaGlobal enters the scene with its proposal to develop a wind turbine in the area. In order to do so, Mr. Moura said the company would require a minimum of a $250,000 secured investment - half of its development cost. Based on a two-megawatt project, Mr. Moura said it would cost $1.3 million.

 Mr. Moura said if several projects were bundled, it would mean lower costs for construction and maintenance. However, it would mean at least a 10-megawatt project or five wind turbines. He added the company is expecting to reach five projects through partnerships with other municipalities.

 The company is offering a turnkey solution which includes the preliminary assessment, interconnection procedures, wind assessment, environmental assessment and land control.

 Based on the five-project analysis, Anaia would get $2,500 a month during the development and construction phase, and once the turbines begin producing power it would get five per cent of the profits.

 Payback on the investment is expected to earn the municipality $62,000 in the first year, but that would rise to $128,000 in year 5 and to around $300,000 for the remaining 10 years.

 Mr. Moura said the next step for council would be to decide if it is interested and whether it wants to partner with another municipality. Once a memorandum of understanding is approved, the project could begin the development phase.

 Council did not make any decisions about whether to enter into an agreement.

posted on 07/19/11
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