Despite a presentation detailing the benefits of using wind as a source of energy, it was hard for the LDRA (Lake District Recreation Assc.) to sell Lower Sackville residents on the idea of building a 120-foot wind turbine in their neighbourhood.
At a recent public meeting, LDRA executive Allan Smith – who put the initial bug in the ear of the board that they ought to look at alternative energy sources – shared with a group of 20 residents the costs of running the LDRA-owned Sackville Arena. He said the arena, which is the last privately-owned arena in HRM, spent $75,000 on power in 2005, $81,000 in 2010, and despite better insulation and the installation of more energy-efficient lighting, the costs continue to escalate.
Smith said all options had price drawbacks until the provincial Department of Energy designed the Comfit Program, which allows non-profit organizations to generate electricity for a profit paid directly to the generating entity. He said the LDRA had applied under that program, and are submitting an application.
Although the crowd seemed to understand the concerns over spending, they were more concerned about the negative aesthetics. They are worried the tall tower would just be one more thing added to the negative, ever changing face of their community.
“It’s bad enough we have that thing going up at the Town Centre,” said one resident referring to the new Sobey’s being built on First Lake. “Now we have to look at this. No way.”
Most people on hand were also concerned about the noise that would come from the turbine, especially those who live on or near First Lake.
“I already hear what my neighbours are doing, I don’t need to hear this as well,” said one resident.
Smith urged residents to visit a wind turbine in Woodside to see and hear what the one in Sackville would look and sound like. He also explained that because, primarily of cost issues, other ideas such as solar panels, were not feasible options for generating energy.
One younger person at the meeting talked about the benefits to the environment and the future. The residents were still not convinced and are demanding more information before any further steps are taken.
Residents were assured last week’s meeting was only the first step in the wind turbine proposal, and future meeting would be held before any final decision is made.
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