August 18, 2011
Nova Scotia

HRM wind turbine limits may deter company

CBC News, 17 August 2011

The plan to 20 wind turbines on a peninsula in West Jeddore, near Musquodoboit Harbour, is now being reconsidered because of limits set by Halifax regional council on how close turbines can be to homes.

On Tuesday, HRM set strict limits of wind turbines being no less than 1,000 metres away from the nearest home.

That has the company behind the proposed project – Anaia Global – already considering moving its development elsewhere.

“I would say that 1,000 metres will basically restrict most of the project, if not all of it,” said Rodrigo Mouro, a business developer for Anaia Global.

Some councillors were concerned the limits sent the message that the city isn’t interested in alternative energy sources.

At first the city suggested it keep its towers at least 550 metres away from any homes.

On Tuesday, council settled on a distance of 1,000 metres after community pressure to extend it.

“The sad part is that it’s going to affect other projects that are being developed in the Halifax area,” said Mouro. “Basically this project could just end without a scientific reason. It’s a political decision.”

The company is still looking at the site on the peninsula, but with 1,000 metres it said there may not be enough space.

Mouro said he understands the community should have its say, but said “They should also at the same time listen to the people that work for them and try to understand what is real and what is speculation.”

District 1 Coun. Steve Streatch doesn’t believe a 1,000-metre setback is excessive.

“You have jurisdictions here in Nova Scotia like Digby, Canso, etc. which all have recently decided on 1,000 metres. You have jurisdictions in Europe, for example, that have gone to 1.5 or even two kilometres,” said Streatch.

Mayor Peter Kelly said he’s been in touch with Anaia Global about its plans for West Jeddore.

He said there are other sites in HRM just as good for wind energy.

“They don’t want to make it an issue for the community that it’s gonna cause concern,” said Kelly. “They’re open-minded and a very fair organization. But if it’s not gonna work, then they’ll just have to go somewhere else.”

Anaia Global said if it can’t find room on the Jeddore Peninsula for a few turbines, it’ll focus on other sites in the province.

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