Developer to seek OK for wind farm in Cobequid Hills
Credit: By JOANN ALBERSTAT, Business Reporter, thechronicleherald.ca 20 February 2012 ~~
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The Canadian arm of an international renewable energy developer is proposing a wind farm in the Wentworth Valley.
Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. is seeking approval for a development of up to 80 megawatts in the Cobequid Hills. The project could cost about $200 million.
The Montreal-based company plans to submit a bid to the province’s renewable electricity administrator as part of a tender call expected in May.
“We believe that the area has a capacity for a significant amount of megawatts,” Nicolas Muszynski, senior development manager for RES Canada, said in an interview Monday. “But the tender right now is limiting us to a maximum of 80 megawatts per project.”
RES Canada is a subsidiary of RES Group, headquartered in the United Kingdom.
The Canadian company plans a second phase to the proposed Wentworth project, which could add 80 more megawatts.
Each phase would have 20 to 30 turbines and up to about 50 in total, Muszynski said.
“We really haven’t yet finalized the size of the project at this point.”
A 50-megawatt wind farm costs about $120 million to $125 million to develop, he said.
The RES Canada official said the wind farm would be to the south and east of three turbines already operating on Higgins Mountain.
The company has secured land for its development, which will straddle Cumberland and Colchester counties.
The project would be in the same area as another one that failed to materialize a few years ago.
Ottawa-based 3G Energy Corp. had planned to build 100 megawatts or 66 turbines along a seven-kilometre stretch of the Cobequid Hills.
That proposal caused some concern for the operators of Ski Wentworth and others in the Wentworth Valley-Folly Lake area.
Cumberland County councillor Kathy Redmond said the municipality has received preliminary information on the new project, which she expects will raise similar concerns.
“There is a group consisting of cottagers from the Wentworth Valley and a few local people who are opposed because of the view from the ski hill and the interference of them on the hiking trails behind the youth hostel,” Redmond said via email last week.
Muszynski said RES Canada is aware of the issues and will consult with the community about them.
“We will be meeting with the groups and as many stakeholders as possible to identify exactly what the (land) uses are in the area and how our project can be built to minimize the impact on those activities.”
The province wants to obtain an additional 300 gigawatts of renewable electricity from independent power producers, starting Jan. 1, 2015. That is equal to about 100 megawatts of wind energy.
RES Canada is a partner in two 99-megawatt wind farms in Ontario at Chatham and Dorion, north of Thunder Bay. The company is also constructing a 149-megawatt project in Halkirk, Alta., for Capital Power LP.
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