A Halifax wind energy company is eyeing a site in northeast New Brunswick for a $350-million wind farm.
Ian Tillard, chief operating officer with Shear Wind Inc., said Wednesday the company has signed a wind exploration permit for a 6,000-hectare site at Mann Siding, near Edmundston, that could become home to about 75 turbines.
“We are in the initial stages of feasibility and development of a new site,” he said.
“This is our first foray into New Brunswick and we are excited by the possibilities.”
Shear Wind is a publicly traded firm. It has four projects in the advanced planning stages in Alberta, where it has 50-year leases on more than 28,000 hectares of land. Mr. Tillard said he is hopeful that one, or possibly two of the western Canadian projects, will be built and operational by 2010.
The company has also proposed a 75-turbine project for the Barneys River area in Nova Scotia, where it has leases on 4,000 hectares of land in Pictou and Antigonish counties.
The wind farm there would have the capacity to generate as much as 150 megawatts of electricity, enough to power tens of thousands of homes.
Mr. Tillard wasn’t anxious to discuss the company’s efforts close to home because the company has responded to Nova Scotia Power’s recent call for proposals to provide 130 megawatts of renewable energy.
Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Margaret Murphy said the call for proposals closed at the end of August and negotiations with potential suppliers have been ongoing. She expected the company would be able to make an announcement about the effort early next week.
In a release, Shear Wind chief executive officer Mike Magnus said the New Brunswick site was promising because the province has an aggressive renewable-energy policy, the site has proven winds and there is easy access to the New Brunswick power grid through transmission lines that run adjacent to the area.
Mr. Tillard said a sparse population is a limit to many wind-power efforts, but power exporting offers long-term potential.
It is long term because the regulations around exporting are complicated.
Long-term wind monitoring on the site will begin early this winter and should provide a clearer understanding of the magnitude of the wind opportunity, he said.
By Steve Proctor
15 November 2007
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