It was all celebrations in Point Tupper at the announcement that Renewable Energy Sources Ltd. is building its first wind farm in the area.
The company’s CEO, Larry LeBlanc, told Matt Draper of the Reporter in Port Hawkesbury that the wind and concentration of industry in the Point Tupper area make it an ideal place for a wind farm.
If all goes as planned, Mr. LeBlanc said, the 11 wind turbines could be generating power by November, 2009.
Not far away across the Strait, a wind energy company from Ontario is looking to set up five or six windmills in Canso by May.
Invenergy is completing the environmental regulatory process and looking at sites in the Glasgow Head and Spinney Hill areas.
Company director Mark Bell told Andrew Rankin of the Guysborough Journal that municipalities and private landowners could earn $3 million in lease and property tax revenue from the project.
As well, the company plans to hire three people locally to maintain the windmills.
While one can appreciate the economic and environmental benefits of wind power, residents of four communities in Eastern Kings County, P.E.I., wish they had asked some tough questions.
Low-frequency noise from the wind turbines at the Eastern Kings Wind Farm has forced two families to move. Kevin and Sheila Bailey, and their son and daughter-in-law Dwaine and Dodi Bailey, left Elmira seven months ago and moved to nearby communities.
Problems started a year ago when the turbines began operating. The family members had headaches and ringing in their ears.
“My idea of noise is a horn blowing or a tractor – it disappears,” Sheila Bailey told Janet MacLeod of the Eastern Graphic in Montague.
“This doesn’t disappear. Your ears ring. That goes on continuously.”
“People who came to our house would stand in the yard, and their ears would pop,” added Kevin Bailey.
For Dodi and Dwayne Bailey, the breaking point was when their son started waking up three and four times a night with night terrors.
The two families didn’t get any help from the provincial government so they borrowed money for the move.
“There are no rules and regulations on windmills,” Paul Cheverie, chairman of the Eastern Kings Community Council said. “The more we get into it, the more we realize we jumped the gun.”
He said when the wind farm was proposed, residents accepted information from government at face value.
“We were told the windmills are coming, and you don’t want to make too many waves.”
Now, he wishes the community had taken a more active role before the wind farm went up in the centre of four communities.
“You can’t point fingers, and we don’t blame anyone,” said Mr. Cheverie. “Now, there’s a problem, let’s try to fix it.”
By Kim Kierans
24 February 2008
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