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Canso hopes hosting wind turbines will turn town around

CANSO – Coun. Fin Armsworthy is hopeful renewable energy will signal the winds of change for this seaside community.

For years, he has expressed concern that companies have been discouraged from setting up here because of high commercial rates, which are currently $4 per $100 of assessed value.

However, Canso is one of six municipalities across the province that owns its own electric utility, and the town has agreed to be a hosting community for turbines to be built by Barrington Wind Energy Ltd.

On Sunday, Mr. Armsworthy said new rules that allow municipal utilities to buy directly from renewable energy producers, along with the fiscal benefits of having Barrington in the community, could be a turning point for Canso.

“As far as I’m concerned, the utility always was a key factor in the town of Canso,” he said.

“And I think it’s something that can always be beneficial to the citizens and the people of the town.”

Barrington is planning to build a wind farm in Canso with six wind turbines, four of which would be on municipal land. The parameters that would allow the sale of energy from companies such as Barrington are expected to be outlined during the spring session of the legislature.

The process of getting the new rules has been frustrating, Mr. Armsworthy said, since that has delayed the company from moving forward.

Mr. Armsworthy said having Barrington in the community should help Canso set a more attractive commercial rate, but acknowledged it will likely not make an impact for the upcoming fiscal year.

By Jim MacDonald