Thirty-megawatt project will follow public meetings to answer concerns
By the end of next year, 20 wind turbines in the Rossway-Gulliver Cove area of Digby Neck are expected to be generating 30 megawatts of power—enough to supply electricity to 10,000 homes, according to project developers.
Digby Wind Park is a joint project of the community-owned and operated company Scotian WindFields and SkyPower Corp., who announced May 14 they have signed a 20-year contract with Nova Scotia Power.
Scotian WindFields is a Nova Scotian company whose board of directors includes two Digby area residents, while SkyPower is a leading developer of wind and solar energy in Canada.
Nova Scotia Power issued a request for proposals last year, looking for private partners to help it meet a goal of doubling production of electricity from renewable energy sources to 20 per cent by 2013.
The power utility says that wind power is a source of clean, renewable energy and construction of wind parks will help stabilize energy prices for Nova Scotians.
Scotian Windfields approached a number of Digby Neck landowners last fall after the company determined that area would be an ideal location for a wind farm.
Scotian Windfields president Barry Zwicker said 20 private owners, who own a total of 2,700 acres of primarily wooded properties, have signed agreements with his company.
Landowners will receive from $3,000 to $5,000 per year for each wind turbine located on their property.
Zwicker said wind turbines would not be spread over the entire 2,700 acres. Scotian Windfields is currently determining the best location for turbines.
“Some of the landowners who have signed with us won’t have wind turbines on their land, but they will be compensated if we use their land for access to the wind park, or transmission lines, or if we build a substation on their property,” Zwicker said.
The Municipality of Digby is currently developing a bylaw that will apply to future wind farms.
Project developers have assured stakeholders they will work with them to ensure concerns are taken into consideration. Prior to its construction, there will be a number of public meetings where local residents can ask questions and discuss issues relating to the development.
Nova Scotia Power says the 20-year contract means the company has exceeded its goal of signing contracts with independent power producers for 240 megawatts of renewable wind energy.
The joint venture between SkyPower and Scotian WindFields is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia to be developed in part through an initiative by the Department of Economic Development called the Community Economic Development Investment Fund program.
“We are pleased to have this partnership as part of Nova Scotia Power’s strategy of cleaner, greener energy for our customers,” said Ralph Tedesco, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power.
“With this project we have reached our goal of signed contracts for another 240 MW of installed wind capacity. By the end of 2009, the province will have five times the amount of wind energy that exists today serving an additional 80,000 homes from renewable generation.”
There are 41 wind turbines in the province, with an installed capacity of 60 MW, providing energy to Nova Scotia Power customers.
by Jeanne Whitehead
14 May 2008
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