The Municipality of the District of Digby will soon draft its first wind farm regulations.
With an announcement made just three weeks ago that a 30-megawatt wind park comprising 20 big turbines is proposed for Digby Neck, the mostly rural municipality held a public meeting Wednesday to talk about wind park regulation.
The municipality now has no way to regulate or control wind farm developments within its boundaries.
“We have three major phases in the work we are doing,” said planner Chris Millier of the 4Site Group.
His firm will work with the municipality’s planning advisory committee in preparing guidelines.
“There’s nothing predetermined,” he told an audience of some 30 people. “The municipality doesn’t have any controls in place.”
Scotian WindFields Inc. is a Nova Scotia company that has partnered with Ontario’s SkyPower Corp. to operate the Digby Wind Park, project officials said.
The joint venture partners have been given a 20-year contract by Nova Scotia Power Inc., the purchasers of the electricity. The 1,100-hectare wind park will be located on leased, private land, said company officials.
The Digby Wind Park will install new General Electric wind turbines through the summer of 2009 and be operational by the fall of the same year, the proposal says.
Each machine will produce 1.5 megawatts and will be installed in the Rossway/Gullivers Cove area of Digby Neck, some 12 to 15 kilometres west of Digby.
During this week’s public meeting, Mr. Millier said the beginning phase of his work will involve research and analysis of wind farm regulation in other areas.
The second phase will involve discussing the information with council’s planning advisory committee and translating it into options for local use.
The third and final phase will involve three or more community meetings to present a list of options to the public and to look for feedback.
The municipality hopes to have all three phases completed in time for the October municipal election, said Mr. Millier.
By Brian Medel
8 June 2008
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