Military concerns about a $60-million Annapolis Valley wind project won’t shoot down the energy project, the developer says.
Sprott Power Corp. plans to build a 12-turbine wind farm in the Hampton Mountain area, four kilometres north of Bridgetown.
Officials at 14 Wing Greenwood say turbines shouldn’t be allowed within a 46-kilometre radius of the Canadian Forces base because turning blades could interfere with radar. The base is 40 kilometres from the proposed wind farm.
Jeff Jenner, Sprott Power president, said Friday the Toronto company is working to address military concerns and has hired a consultant to study the issue.
“I think we will be able to find a couple of solutions that will work for everybody,” Jenner said.
But Sprott doesn’t plan to relocate any towers, which have received provincial environmental approvals, he said.
The military voiced its concerns to Sprott during the environmental approval process last year, the company president said. Base officials raised their objections again this week during public meetings into new wind turbine rules proposed by Annapolis County.
A spokesman for 14 Wing Greenwood was out of the province Friday and not available for comment. But Maj. Al Harvey told a public meeting in Kings County in January that having turbines within a 46-kilometre radius of the base could make it difficult for air traffic controllers to see aircraft flying in and out of the Greenwood on their radar screens.
“It is becoming a worldwide major problem for all air traffic control radars dealing with significant interference from nearby wind turbines,” the minutes of the meeting quote Harvey as saying.
Jenner said Friday base officials have told Sprott the turbines could interrupt radar coverage with an emergency runway.
“There’s some mitigating work that can be done because wind farms are situated around the world within 40 kilometres of radar installations,” he said.
Jenner said it may be possible to adjust radar angle or have a plan in place to halt turbines in case of an emergency, depending on how often the runway is used.
The latest radar systems are able to recognize turbines, the company president said.
Sprott is still in the process of receiving renewals for building permits it held for properties in Arlington, Arlington West and Hampton, Jenner said.
In April, Sprott asked the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to overrule a municipal decision denying the renewal.
Annapolis County announced last month it was changing its planning strategy to allow Sprott to proceed with most of the turbines.
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