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Early investigations may rekindle Grand Manan turbine plans

Long before a private developer sought permission to install a lone wind turbine on Campobello, neighbouring Grand Manan was a hotbed of turbine discussion.
But some 10 years of thought and discussion on the matter has yet to see a single turbine on the island, an area deemed ideal for wind-power generation.
Ontario-based Sprott Power Corporation (TSX: SII) is the latest to pursue the matter, confirmed Grand Manan mayor Dennis Green.
Sprott has obtained the rights once held by Firstwind, and is now engaged in preliminary discussions with a local landowner to secure space for a potential windfarm.
Two months ago, Hugh Campbell, Sprott’s vice-president of Technology and Procurement met with Green, CAO Rob McPherson and Deputy Mayor Peter Wilcox in what were described as “informal” expressions of interest.
“They were interested in going in what we call the Crabbe property – on the western, Dark Harbour side of Grand Manan,” Greene said.
This is the same location that Eastwind was looking at “years ago,” before the matter was then pursued by Firstwind.
Firstwind, years ago, had pitched a plan for a 13-turbine wind farm. However, two of those turbines interfered with the flightpath of aircraft using the Grand Manan airport: a key sticking point, Greene said.
“We won’t do anything to jeopardize our airport,” he said.
Sprott, according to Greene, have pitched a plan that will remove the two contentious turbines, and thus negating concerns about interference with air traffic.
Green asserted that Sprott has not made any formal application to council, and is still discussing matters with the private landowner.
“It’s very preliminary stages,” Greene stressed.
It’s important that if the plan gains strength, that Grand Manan residents be afforded every chance to learn more about wind energy, and what impacts it may have, Greene added.
“We have told Sprott that when they are definite they want to move ahead, we would have a public meeting,” Greene said. “That is a promise that council has made, and hopefully, if it’s a new council in May, that will hold (true.)”
However, the long history of windmills on the Island- or more specifically, the long history of initial starts without much progress – is such that Greene isn’t about to make much of a fanfare at the immediate moment.
“We are at a stage here, that there’s been so many false attempts that we won’t go public until we had something definite,” he said.
Officials at Sprott did not respond to interview requests by the Courier’s deadline.