The City of Summerside’s bid to install four wind turbines in the old St. Eleanors landfill site drew fire at a public meeting last night.
“I’m always up in the early morning, always go outside in the summer to have my coffee, to look across the bay,” North Drive resident Wayne Waite told the gathering of about 20 at St. Eleanors Community Centre.
“Now I’ll be looking at four windmills. It really disturbs me how they can take a view and destroy it.”
Neighbours expressed concerns about noise, sunlight reflecting off blades known as “flicker”, blighted landscapes and declining property values.
“It will devalue my property,” said Waite.
Sheila Compton lives nearby and runs a roadside vegetable business. The family owns agricultural property they fear will suffer declining values.
“Right now it’s agricultural and we’re putting our garden in there and farming it.
“Down the road what’s it going to be worth?” she asked.
“We finally got the landfill closed,” she said.
“I don’t want it,” said Compton.
“There’s other land that can be used.
“I agree with alternative energy but I don’t think it should be stuck in someone’s front yard.”
However a councillor attending the meeting said he was satisfied every effort would be made to mitigate any negative impacts.
“Oil-fired electricity is just getting so expensive. I hope down the road everybody will warm up to it and welcome it,” said Garth Lyle.
“The technology keeps getting better.”
Summerside needs a source of reliable non-polluting energy, said Lyle.
“Everybody is saying don’t put it in my backyard. I hope the homeowners here will see the positives and embrace wind energy.
“It’s good that they came in with a lot of questions and I know if I was a homeowner down there I would want questions answered.
“But the government of Canada and the Province will make sure nothing is ram-rodded through,” he said.
“There’s huge wind farms in Europe and they go on for miles,” said Lyle, adding he hasn’t seen any widespread protests there.
It’s the same for much of the country, added Lyle, where projects have expanded over the years.
If the Summerside venture goes ahead the first two wind turbines, generating 6 MWs of electricity, should be completed by mid-2009.
Excerpts from project manager Janet Blacadar’s presentation
Project located at old St. Eleanors landfill site, near sewage lagoon. Wetlands nearby.
Environmental assessment included potential impact on flights at Slemon Park Airport, two kilometres away.
First power to be generated in September, 2009.
P.E.I.’s Renewable Energy Act states 50 per cent of energy must come from renewable energy sources, including wind, by 2010, rising to 100 per cent by 2015.
Project will use four Vestas turbines, at three MWs each, for a total of 12 MWs.
Height of each tower to the blade’s tip, 130 metres.
Blade diameter 90 metres.
Phase 1 calls for erection of first two wind turbines, followed by one each for phases two and three.
Project’s lifespan 25 years followed by refurbishment or replacement.
22 April 2008
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