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Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Nova Scotia, has agreed to enter into long-term agreements with two wind-generation power companies to purchase between 22 GWh and 25 GWh annually for the next 20 years.

HRM staff forecasts that these agreements will result in a savings of $8.3 million to $28 million in electricity costs through the life of the contracts with Nova Scotia-headquartered Barrington Wind Energy Ltd. and Ontario-based Ventus Energy Inc.

"The contracts, when finalized, will probably allow HRM to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent earlier than originally targeted," says Councillor Linda Mosher, co-chair of HRM's energy and underground services committee. "We are definitely one of the first municipalities in the country to be going wind power in a substantial way."

These two contracts are a result of HRM's request for proposals that was issued last summer to companies interested in providing wind-generated electricity to the municipality. The two successful companies scored 90% on three deciding factors: experience, timeliness and financial/contract terms. HRM adds that final approval of the contracts is contingent on necessary amendments to the provincial Energy Act, as well as required Nova Scotia Utility and review board hearings and approvals.

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