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Firm inks deals for Cumberland wind farm  

Credit:  By CLARE MELLOR, Staff Reporter, The Chronicle Herald, thechronicleherald.ca/ 28 May 2011 ~~

Halifax-based Shear Wind Inc. has secured enough privately owned land for a proposed wind farm near Parrsboro, Cumberland County.

The company recently signed lease agreements with 10 to 12 landowners in the area, said Mike Magnus, president and CEO of Shear Wind.

“It will end up being between 6,000 and 8,000 acres,” Magnus said Friday.

The wind farm would be located behind Harrison Settlement on Canaan Mountain.

The company intends to sell energy to Nova Scotia Power but is also investigating the possibility of shipping power out of the province to other markets.

“We are hoping for the opportunity to participate in a domestic (request for proposals) and then also be able to investigate a similar-size wind farm, or larger, to export out of Nova Scotia.”

The first phase of the wind farm would be for about 50 megawatts and would cost between $125 million and $130 million to build, Magnus said, and the project could expand to generate as much as 150 megawatts.

Shear Wind, which trades on the TSX Venture Exchange (SWX), recently completed the first phase of the Glen Dhu wind farm, a 62.1-megawatt facility located between Pictou and Antigonish counties.

“The topography (near Parrsboro) is very similar to our Glen Dhu site. It has got elevations of anywhere between 240 to 290 metres,” Magnus said.

The company has applied to Nova Scotia Power for transmission access and plans to immediately put up a couple of wind measurement towers on the mountain.

“We think that there is wind up there. We will validate that over the next couple of months, and then from the wind towers, we will be able to determine what technology best works on that particular site.”

Magnus said there is a lot about the Canaan Mountain site that is attractive.

“What you need is a significant amount of scale to make the economics work right. . . . What we like here is that we have a very strong transmission system to get us to the main spine line out of the province. Those are all important components of building any type of wind farm.”

Some community opposition exists to the Glen Dhu wind farm because of noise levels and environmental factors.

Magnus said the Canaan Mountain site is far removed from any homes, and is also far enough away from blueberry farms that it won’t interfere with operations.

Some of the landowners involved in the lease agreements are blueberry farmers who have unused acreage, he said.

Source:  By CLARE MELLOR, Staff Reporter, The Chronicle Herald, thechronicleherald.ca/ 28 May 2011

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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