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In an effort to meet its renewable energy target of 25% by 2015, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy has announced it is moving ahead with three utility-scale wind projects that are expected to bring $200 million in new investment.

The three projects include the 78 MW South Canoe Wind Project, located between Chester and Windsor and led by Oxford Frozen Foods; the 24 MW South Canoe Wind Project in Lunenburg County led by Minas Paper Pulp and Power; and the Sable Wind Project near Canso, led by the municipality of the District of Guysborough.

The three projects will help Nova Scotia reach its renewable energy plan target of 25% of renewable sources by 2015. The province also committed to achieving a 40% renewable electricity target by 2020.

Energy Minister Charlie Parker said the wind projects will help stabilize electricity prices in Nova Scotia and benefit the environment.

"Nova Scotia has one of the best wind regimes in North America," says Parker. "The wind itself is free, and the cost of building wind farms can be spread over many years. The result is a stabilizing effect on electricity rates."

According to the Ministry of Energy, the selected projects represented the most cost-effective offers. Their average purchase price was approximately $70/MWh, lower than those in the 2007 call for bids. Nova Scotia Power is a minority investor in each of the projects.

The projects are expected to bring total wind energy close to the 500 MW wind threshold by 2015 - near the technical limit of the amount that can be integrated into the province's electricity grid. Consequently, the province does not expect to issue additionally requests for proposals for large-scale wind projects in the near future.

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