May 8, 2012
Nova Scotia

Potential for more wind turbines raises concerns 7 May 2012

AMHERST – Talk of more wind turbines being built in the Amherst area is raising a whirlwind of questions and concerns from nearby residents.

“The Sprott Company is bidding on another project that involves a bunch of turbines being placed in the marsh or what I would call the agricultural land,” said David Wightman, gesturing at the marshy fields that surround his back yard.

Wightman said he believes the property that will be used for this new project will involve the land behind his home on Lamy Street. Although Wightman is all for green energy projects, he said he and others have a few concerns about the new project. One of his main points is that he is sure that if they were talking about a more scenic area to build the turbines, the project would not move forward.

“Aesthetics have a large part in it,” he said. “And I know our mayor made the comment the other day about how this end of the province, Cumberland County and Amherst in particular, is being ignored by the provincial government and I very much agree with him.”

Stephane Desdunes of EDF-EN Canada, another company looking to put up wind turbines on the marsh near town, said they are looking into setting up enough turbines to produce up to 50 megawatts. He said they would be building between 16 and 30 structures.

“Until we win a power of purchase agreement, this proposal will not move forward.” Said Desdunes. “The project will not be built without all the environmental assessments completed and part of this process is us having an open house on Tuesday.”

There will be a public meeting about the turbine projects Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Wandlyn. Wightman said anyone with questions and those who are still unsettled about the project should come out and make their opinions known.

“Things go wrong with these structures,” he said. “They’ve hit people, they’ve fallen over, they’ve hit highways and there are potential health concerns. People may not know about these things. We get information from the pro wind turbine people and we get information from the anti-turbine people, but it’s a whole he said-she said thing. Where’s the truth?”

Desdunes said the open house will give people the opportunity to ask questions about the project.

“If anyone has any concerns, they can definitely come to the open house and we’ll take their comments. That’s why we’re having the open house,” Desdunes said. “We will also have two representatives from our environmental consulting company there. They will be able to better answer any environmental questions better than I could and get into more detail if a landowner who have any concerns.”

URL to article: