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Gathering signatures on a petition against proposed wind turbines made Black River Road resident Warren Peck aware of concerns for the rural way of life and the environment in the Greenfield area. There can be adverse affects on rural residents when it comes to developing renewable energy projects, he said during a presentation to the county’s committee of the whole Feb. 21
Greenfield area residents are supportive of renewable energy, he said, but the way projects are implemented is the issue.
“How could any public representative write-off 750 constituents as being misguided and irrational?” Peck said. “How can government not appreciate the pain and suffering being caused in rural areas?”
He said rural residents are being made to quantify the impact of proposed wind developments on their way of life, but Greenfield area residents are extremely grateful council has agreed to a full review of municipal large-scale wind turbine regulations.
“This may not be the place for wind energy,” Peck said. “We might find other options more suitable for the county.”
Other projects identified in the provincial renewable energy strategy, including biomass, tidal power and solar, he noted. Adding, the best kilowatt-hour is the one not consumed and a reduction of our dependence on energy isn’t being factored into the picture.
As a former researcher in many areas of technology and a former technology manager at Acadia University, Gary Boates of Kentville is well aware there are operating and maintenance manuals for all wind turbines. Boates said dangers to people and animals are made clear by the manuals of many manufacturers.
Reading from a manual for a particular three-megawatt turbine, Boates said the manufacturer recommends not being within 400 metres while active unless necessary. Boates said if a 400-metre distance isn’t advisable for a short stay, permanent residents need further distance.
Perhaps setbacks are the greatest concern, but Boates said other important considerations include noise, vibration, ice or parts being thrown by the blade, fire, light-shadow flicker and reduced property values. He said noise levels from large-scale wind turbines are not always in compliance.
Although Kings County council has agreed to review the Municipal Planning Strategy relating to large-scale wind turbines, there is nothing to stop project proponents from making applications in the meantime. Council has approved spending up to $25,000 to bring in outside experts to weigh information regarding environmental and health concerns.
The municipality will hold two open houses to gather early input for the review. The first took place at the White Rock Community Centre Feb. 29 and the second is scheduled for the South Berwick Community Centre March 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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