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Leaders support wind energy proposal, but say it’s a wait-and-see game for company  

STEPHENVILLE – Tom O’Brien, mayor of this town, and the two local MHAs representing the area support the proposed wind farm development on the Port au Port Peninsula.

An aboriginal-owned company is looking at developing a 30-megawatt wind farm on 225 acres of land it has acquired in Port au Port West. However, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has yet to decide whether they’ll even be moving ahead with another wind project in the near future.

Mi’kmaq Resources has formed a federally incorporated entity, Jet-Age Wind Inc., to work on the development and has retained the services of Wind Prospect Inc., an international wind energy development company from the United Kingdom, to provide the expertise required to establish a successful wind farm.

O’Brien said his council would support any kind of project that would create employment in the area.

“I was in attendance when they did their presentation to the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce and spoke to Paul Gallant, a company member, and told him that if there is anything the town council could do to help out, then we would,” O’Brien said.

He said from the chamber meeting and discussions with Gallant, it’s his understanding they have everything in place and the last piece of the puzzle would be a power purchase agreement with Hydro.

Joan Burke, legislature member for St. George’s-Stephenville East, recognized that it’s a plan put forward by this company that needs to be analyzed by Newfoundland Hydro.

She said if it meets their conditions as laid down by Hydro and they give it the green light and if it can benefit our area then she would be in support.

However, she said, it would be premature to speak on it before seeing the results of an analysis.

Burke recognized there may be other companies which would be interested in such a development and there could likely be a competition if Hydro decides it wants to purchase more power.

“Basically, it’s a wait-and-see game until the analysis is done,” she said.

Tony Cornect, legislature member for Port au Port district, said he certainly supports any economic opportunity for his district and the area.

“I met with this company when they were looking for direction in which way to go and I pointed them to make contact with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. I think the two sides will be meeting soon to discuss the proposal,” he said.

Cornect said the company has to work with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro on this and see where the process goes from there.

Frank Gale

The Western Star

6 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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