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The Eastern Kings Wind Farm located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, has officially begun commercial operation.

Six turbines were brought online Jan. 22, and four other machines are expected to be in operation by the end of the week, say Premier Pat Binns and Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem. The wind farm, using Vestas V-90 turbines, will provide enough energy to power 12,000 homes and prevent 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the air per year.

"This is a milestone in Prince Edward Island's plan for a greener and more self-sufficient energy future for our province," comments Binns. "The wind farm will supply 7.5 percent of PEI's total electricity and will recapture some $8 million in energy spending annually. That's money that will stay on-island, contributing to the PEI economy instead of leaving the province to import fossil fuels."

Maritime Electric Co. Ltd., a Charlottetown, PEI-headquartered electricity provider, is purchasing the 30 MW of power from the wind farm. In addition, the province's residents can share ownership of the project by purchasing PEI Energy Savings Bonds. The bonds have a guaranteed interest rate of 5% over five years and qualify for self-directed registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), Binns and Ballem add. To date, islanders have purchased $3.3 million worth of bonds.

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