Atlantic Canada gets new wind energy research and manufacturing sites
by Erika Beauchesne
Nova Scotia-made towers to support P.E.I. wind energy research project
TRENTON, N.S.— A new wind energy research project in P.E.I. will incorporate towers manufactured at a new facility in Nova Scotia.
The Wind Energy R&D Park and storage system for Innovation in Grid Integration project will be located near the community of Tignish, P.E.I.
It will be run by the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan), a non-profit wind energy research organization.
“In P.E.I., more than 20 per cent of the energy for the island came from wind last year,” says Scott Harper, WeiCan CEO.
Harper says the project will help ramp that up to 30 per cent by testing storage integration.
It’s expected to be up and running by the end of this year.
WEICan has awarded a supply contract to DeWind Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd (DSME).
Under the agreement, DeWind will provide the project with five of its new 2 MW D9.2 wind turbines.
Currently the turbines operate in Europe, Asia, South America and the U.S. This will be the first Canadian installation.
The towers to support those turbines are being built and furnished by another DSME subsidiary, DSTN, which is a joint venture between DSME and the province of Nova Scotia.
DSTN has converted an old railcar-manufacturing site in Trenton, about 90 minutes north of Halifax, N.S. to manufacture towers and blades for the wind industry.
Brad Murray, DSTN spokesperson, says the new $20-million site spans 100 acres and will host several shops, such as a tower manufacturing facility and paint finishing plant.
“We’re in the process of testing and commissioning in preparation for production,” Murray says, adding the site is expected to be operational later this month.
He says the tower facility will create between 125 to 135 jobs. Once the blade plant is up and running, it’ll be closer to around 50 positions.
Those numbers could grow, depending on demand.
“Initially our market will be the atlantic provinces, northeastern states, and Quebec.
Depending on competitiveness and the market, it could be as far south as Texas and as far west as Alberta,” he says.