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Barrington backwoods eyed for wind energy project

A Nova Scotia grown wind energy development company is exploring the potential in the backwoods of Barrington.

“This is still very much preliminary,” said Andrew Arbuckle, project engineer for Eon WindElectric, in a presentation to Barrington Municipal Council on March 26. “This is by no means a sure project,” he said.

The company, which is under the umbrella of Watts Wind Energy, has been investigating potential sites for a wind energy project that would consist of two turbines.

Arbuckle said the company has spoke with Nova Scotia Power and the power generated from two turbines would be the maximum that could be accommodated at the Barrington substation. “The area has significant wind potential to host two turbines,” said Arbuckle.

Locations that have been scouted for the proposed wind power project are near Bear Point Pond between Atwood’s Brook and the Wireless Station Road. Arbuckle said the towers would be approximately 25 metres high (80 feet), with the circumference of the blades measuring approximately 40 meters (120 feet).

The company is pursuing the project under the provincial Department of Energy’s Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program, which allows for the development of locally-based renewable electricity projects that must be community-owned and connected at the distribution level.

Watts Wind Energy is currently in the process of developing the application, said Arbuckle, and if it is successful, the project will move on to the next stage, which will involve extensive community consultation as well as the opportunity for investment.

The company has to have a minimum of 25 community investors for the project to proceed, said Arbuckle, who estimated the project would cost $6 to $8 million.

Ironically, amendments to the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-Law to accommodate various scales of wind turbine generators came into effect on March 26, the same day as Arbuckle’s presentation.