Failed rink wind turbine investments to be returned

Failed rink wind turbine investments to be returned

The four P.E.I. communities that put wind turbines up at their rinks have been given their initial investment back by the province.

The province will also cover the cost of taking down the turbines in Alberton, Kensington, Crapaud and Murray River.

Kensington CAO Geoff Baker told CBC News the town is happy it's getting its $70,000 investment back and that the turbine is coming down.

"We're disappointed that the project didn't work, really from the very beginning," said Baker.

"I would say we're very pleased that the Wind Energy Institute and the provincial government came through and really looked after us as far as the investment we made into the project."

Kensington's rink was one of four that hoped to reduce electricity bills through wind energy, a project that received joint funding of almost $1.3 million from the communities, and provincial and federal governments.

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada was the project manager. It chose a turbine made by Seaforth and decided which P.E.I. rinks were the best sites.

But Kensington's turbine only produced a third of the power the wind institute projected.

"We take responsibility for where our involvement was," said WEICAN CEO Scott Harper.

"We were seeing performance not to where it was expected, but at the same time we were working with Seaforth on, you know, some of those ideas where performance could have been improved."

Harper said the attempt to fix the problem halted when turbine-maker Seaforth filed for bankruptcy.

The province will have to spend up to $60,000 more to dismantle the turbines. That will happen once the ground is dry enough for the work to be done.

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