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After our power plants at St. Rose and Parker Mountain, the third plant has been put into operation at Little River. Therefore, the first construction phase of W.E.B’s commitment in Canada has been completed. The story is always the same in unchartered waters and the implementation of our overseas projects turned out to be extremely challenging. The W.E.B power plants have been realized as part of the so-called “COMFIT Program” which requires a minimum of 25 local citizens to participate in the project in return for an attractive feed-in tariff. Once again, W.E.B could demonstrate its pioneering spirit. The St. Rose power plant was the first COMFIT plant in Nova Scotia to be connected to the power grid.
Moreover, W.E.B is the first Austrian wind power operator to realize projects in Canada. As W.E.B has always been a citizen participation company right from the start in Austria, the COMFIT Program is more than welcome. Another key factor to success is a reliable local partner. “When it comes to roots in the region and citizen participation, we could not have found a better partner than Scotian Windfields,” as W.E.B. Canada CEO Detlef Krollpfeiffer praises their cooperation. And he continues, “Needless to say, our team has done a great job as well.”
So what are we going to do next in Canada? In principle, W.E.B and its partner have already obtained feed-in permissions for 22 MW in Nova Scotia. From an engineering point of view, the plants could be realized immediately and the turbines would have to be ordered now to start construction in autumn. However, Vestas North America is completely booked out.
Furthermore, the auditing process of Canadian banks is very different, and much longer to begin with, from what we are used to in Europe. As the COMFIT Program is also new to investors and grid operators, everything is of course checked and double-checked. “Although our eager drive is slowed down by lots of red tape, the W.E.B Supervisory Board is fully aware of the situation and has approved of short-term bridge financing. This is why I am confident that we will soon see more W.E.B mills turning in Canada,” as Frank Dumeier, board member in charge of Canadian projects, explains in an upbeat mood about the future. And so the W.E.B success story in Canada continues!