Antigonish County Wind Farm Looks For Investors
February 08, 2012
An $11-million proposed wind project in Antigonish County is on the hunt for investors.
Wind4All is a community economic development corporation sponsored and created exclusively by Wind Prospect Inc. as a funding mechanism for the Fairmont wind project six kilometres north of Antigonish.
The call for local investors aims to raise $3.3 million — money that is earmarked for continued project development, said Wind Prospect director Austen Hughes.
"This is a relatively small project that has great interest from the local community," Hughes said from his Halifax office Monday.
"We felt the traditional sources of funding for wind projects wouldn't be as interested in the smaller projects like this ... so if the investments come from Nova Scotians, it makes it, overall, a much better fit."
Eligible investors can contribute a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $50,000 to the Wind4All Community Economic Development Investment Fund. If the maximum capital is raised — about $3.3 million of the $11 million project — Wind4All will own up to 49 per cent of the Fairmont project and Wind Prospect will own the balance of the 20-year project. Investors will be eligible to tap into the 35 per cent non-refundable provincial equity tax credit.
The project will be decommissioned in 20 years, the natural life of the turbines and the length of current land leases and power purchase agreements, Hughes said, adding that the rate of return is "anticipated" to be 13 per cent, seven per cent of which can be attributed to the provincial tax credit.
"The design life of the turbines is typically about 20 to 23 years. There is zero residual value at year 20. Maybe we can continue generating afterwards, but there are too many uncertainties to guarantee anything beyond 20 years."
The Fairmont wind project will see two turbines constructed that will generate four to 4.6 megawatts, or enough to provide electricity for about 1,500 homes.
Wind Prospect and Nova Scotia Power signed a 20-year power purchase agreement in 2009, while county council approved the rezoning of the land last August and the project received a conditional environmental stamp of approval in September.
The six or so conditions that remain, including the need for an avian monitoring program and an environmental plan, have been addressed; the environmental approval is just a matter of paperwork, Hughes said.
He is hopeful the turbines will be generating power by September.
Established in 2006 and with offices in Halifax and Vancouver, Wind Prospect is the Canadian arm of the Wind Prospect Group,a global renewable energy business that has developed more than 2,000 megawatts of wind energy projects around the world and constructed more than 100 wind farms.
A series of investment information seminars are underway throughout Nova Scotia before the Feb. 29 investment deadline. One of the seminars takes place tonight in Halifax at 7 p.m. at Casino Nova Scotia and again Wednesday evening at the Ramada Plaza in Dartmouth.
- Source: Colleen Cosgrove, Business Herald
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