PICTOU – Residents of Braeshore opposed to the location of a wind turbine in their area can breathe a sigh of relief.
Andy MacCallum with Wind Prospects Inc. said the company will be “stepping back” on its ComFit application for the construction of one to two wind turbines in the Braeshore area. The towers would have the capacity of 1.6 megawatts and be located on a piece of property formerly owned by Hughie MacDonald.
“We will probably not pursue it,” he said during an interview with The News Tuesday. “We will be leaving the application in, but we are pulling back.”
The proposal would see the wind field developed through the ComFit program, which requires 25 people from within the county to sign up as shareholders for the project. The remaining shareholders can come from other parts of the province.
During a public meeting in early February, MacCallum outlined several reasons why the development would be positive for the community, including decreasing the use of coal at the Trenton Generating Station.
Wind Prospects Inc.’s application was met with opposition from some Braeshore residents who are concerned about noise and health problems in relation to having a wind turbine near their homes.
They had circulated a petition and gathered signatures against the development and recently presented it to Pictou West MLA Charlie Parker, who is also the province’s energy minister.
MacCallum said Wind Prospects was aware of the opposition to the development and was working with the community to find a solution. He said the project does have some support, but he acknowledged the “vocal minority” was effective in making its point.
He added there is also another company in the Pictou County area that has a ComFit proposal in for wind turbines in the Caribou area and both would be competing for the same amount of space on the grid.
MacCallum said his company has about 10 other ComFit applications in with the government it will be pursuing in the future.
Susan Moland, a Braeshore resident who helped spearhead the petition signing, said community members recently met with county council asking for a larger setback for wind turbines. The setback is currently 600 metres.
“We are really feeling like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop,” she said. “Although Wind Prospects may not be interested, there is nothing stopping another company from coming in.”
She said a larger setback would make it more difficult for companies to develop wind turnbines in the area because of the configuration of homes in the Braeshore area.
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