Sprott seeks NS renewable deal7/3/2012
Sprott Power Corp. is one of 19 companies vying to bolster the province’s supply of renewable energy.
The Toronto company has submitted a bid to add 45 megawatts of wind energy to Nova Scotia’s electricity grid.
If it emerges a winner, Sprott Power plans to invest $100 million to expand its wind farms in the province, including its newly commissioned site near Amherst, its facility near Lingan, Cape Breton, or other areas.
Jeff Jenner, Sprott Power’s president and chief executive officer, said the company has a competitive advantage over the other bidders.
“I think our projects are more shovel-ready in that they are already environmentally permitted,” he said in an interview Friday.
“For the most part we will be expanding our existing assets for which we already have interconnections and substations and other things — all of the ingredients that sometimes upset timetables.”
Sprott Power’s experience developing wind farms in Nova Scotia has helped it lower its price per kilowatt hour.
“We offer a competitive price for the residents of Nova Scotia,” he said, declining to divulge the details of Sprott Power’s offer.”
Two-thirds of the company’s assets are currently in Nova Scotia.
Jenner said there are a number of reasons the province has been an ideal location to set up wind farms.
He said the biggest factor is Nova Scotia’s windy environment.
“It’s a naturally windy place and you can generate a fair amount of electrons from an investment,” Jenner said. “A wind turbine is indifferent whether it’s placed in a windy spot or not — it costs the same.
“But if you put it in a windy spot you can generate more electrons and can sell the power for less. So putting wind resources to work in Nova Scotia generates inexpensive electrons or renewable electricity.”
Jenner also said local landowners, governments and provincial policies are supportive of renewable energy development.
One of the issues wind farm developers confront is what he called “misinformation about wind energy.”
“There are certain counties that are pushing back against it, based on a tremendous amount of misinformation. In Ontario, it’s a little more heightened, the amount of misinformation that exists.”
Bruce Cameron, the province’s director of sustainable and renewable energy, said this week there has been a strong interest in the latest call for renewable energy by the province’s renewable electricity administrator.
Wednesday was the deadline for developers to submit their bids to the independent administrator, a Massachusetts-based consultant.
John Dalton of Power Advisory LLC has said he’ll make a decision by July 19.
A further 10 days have been set aside for contracts to be finalized before a public announcement is made in early August.
The province wants to add 300 gigawatts of renewable electricity to the Nova Scotia Power grid, starting in 2015.
Some developers have said they expect up to four or five wind farms to be approved.
Deputy Energy Minister Murray Coolican said department officials are expecting the competition to result in “very attractive” energy prices.
(The Chronicle Herald)