May 13, 2011
Nova Scotia

Cape Breton wind project proposed 12 May 2011

A massive wind project estimated to be worth between $2 billion and $3.5 billion is being proposed for Cape Breton Highlands, says Victoria County Warden, Bruce Morrison.

Developers are Highland Power Co. Inc., a consortium led by Starwood Energy Capital, U.S. financial and economic consultants Charles River Associates, Mi’kmaq First Nations, Norther Innovations, RMS Energy and Korean wind turbine manufacturer DSTN/DSME in Trenton.

The group wants to build the first wind project near the Cabot Trail along Highland Road near Middle River, a non-residential and isolated area.

“The consortium has the key capabilities to turn this vision into a reality,” wrote Jeff MacKinnon, a Highland Power director, in a letter to Victoria County council on Monday.

The farm proposes to produce between 100 to 300 megawatts of wind generated electricity.

“It’s very much in the early stages,” said Morrison Wednesday.

“We need more details. It sounds great in principle, but it’s way too preliminary to make any decisions about it.”

He said the municipality has an annual budget of $9 million, so when business people approached council with a $3-billion project it “grabbed our attention.” He said the only commitment council is prepared to make is to sit down with the developers and get more details on impact and payback.

Victoria County currently has no bylaws regarding the installation and construction of wind turbines, he said.

“We would certainly be looking for a significant return based on our resources and properties they would be using,” he said.

He said the wind project will be located near Nova Scotia Power’s major power generator in Wreck Cove.

Morrison says he doesn’t see any “huge issues,” except for how people may view the appearance of the wind turbines and their location.

The consortium is made up of new and established players in the province’s burgeoning wind industry.

Highland Power was incorporated on March 25 and lists Peter Knollenberg of West Palm Beach, Florida as president. Two directors are prominent Sydney businessman James Kehoe and Jeff MacKinnon.

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