Nova Scotia municipalities playing host to new wind projects can now make local policy based on both national and international best practices.
Municipalities can now use guidelines taken from across Canada, the U.S.A., and Europe to create wind turbine zoning and bylaws that fit their local community.
“Setting rules around where wind turbines go in the ground is really up to municipalities,” said Robert Wrye, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
“Each municipality is unique, and one-size may not fit all. The model wind bylaws released today can serve as starting points for good local policy, and municipalities can tailor them to suit the needs of their community.”
These best practice guidelines were developed as a joint initiative between the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the provincial government. The guidelines are available at www.unsm.ca www.unsm.ca> .
Acting Energy Minister Bill Dooks said protecting the environment will require Nova Scotia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
“To reach that deadline, we must move away from coal-based electricity and look to cleaner sources like wind.”
Almost 90 per cent of Nova Scotia’s electricity currently comes from fossil fuels, accounting for over 40 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our renewable energy policy will see the number of wind turbines in Nova Scotia grow from 40 to more than 250,” said Dooks. “The provincial government applauds the efforts of municipalities to help Nova Scotia take on more wind energy as a healthy, cleaner alternative to coal.”
Municipalities have the authority to require minimum setbacks between wind projects and other buildings—and these guidelines will help create responsible setbacks. Ultimately, wind energy projects must conform to the unique zoning bylaws established by the municipality.
The provincial government also protects the well being of Nova Scotians through a mandatory environmental assessment for all wind projects over two megawatts. Through the assessment process, technical experts consider issues such as:
•number and placement of turbines,
•impacts on wildlife and local landscape, and
•sound levels and other potential impacts for local residences.
All wind projects built in Nova Scotia must meet the requirements of both municipal and provincial governments.
Nova Scotia’s regulations demand nearly 20 per cent of the province’s electricity supply come from renewable sources by 2013. Most of that target will likely be met with wind energy.
• Nova Scotia municipalities playing host to new wind farms can now make local policy based on best practices taken from across Canada, the U.S.A., and Europe.
• The UNSM released model wind bylaws today to help municipalities make rules around where wind turbines go in the ground.
• Each municipality is unique, and model wind bylaws can be tailored to suit their needs.
• The provincial government sees wind energy as a healthy, cleaner alternative to coal-based electricity.
By John DeMings
1 February 2008
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