A Nova Scotia-Spain joint venture proposing a $100- to $120-million wind farm in Wedgeport applied for its provincial environmental approvals Tuesday, a day before a provincial deadline for developers to submit their wind projects for approval.
Anaia Global Renewable Energies Inc. will file a bid with the provincial renewable electricity administrator today, as will several other wind energy developers.
The province wants to add 300 gigawatts of renewable electricity to the Nova Scotia Power grid, starting in 2015. That equals 100 megawatts of wind power.
The additional green energy is needed to help the province meet its 2015 renewable energy target of 25 per cent.
The independent administrator, John Dalton of Power Advisory LLC, is expected to announce the winning projects in early August.
An Anaia spokesman said the Halifax-based venture is hopeful its wind farm will be among those selected.
“We are confident that it is a great project and has a very good chance to win this (request for proposals),” Rodrigo Moura, Anaia’s lead business developer, said in an interview.
The venture involves Cape Breton’s Membertou First Nation and Grupo Guascor of Spain.
Moura said he expects four or five projects to get the go-ahead from the independent administrator.
The Wedgeport wind farm would be a 50-megawatt project with up to 25 turbines. That’s enough to power about 20,000 homes annually.
The project will be located on a peninsula near Black Pond Road, about two kilometres from Wedgeport.
The West Pubnico wind farm is nearby and so is a single-turbine project by Scotian WindFields, which received approval in February under the province’s community feed-in tariff program.
Anaia has options to lease and purchase land, the spokesman said.
According to a report prepared for the company by Stantec, the Wedgeport wind farm would be in an area that consists of forest, woodland and barrens. Land use within the area is mainly recreational, including hiking, all-terrain vehicles and hunting.
“In consideration of design, planning and mitigation measures, residual environmental effects as a result of accidents and malfunctions are predicted to be not significant,” said the report filed with the Environment Department.
“Effects of the environment on the project will also be mitigated to be not significant through proper design and adherence to construction and operating standards.”
Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau has until Aug. 15 to make a ruling on the project.
In its filing, Anaia said site clearing would begin in December, with the wind farm expected to be in service in September 2014.
Moura said the project does have community support, based on feedback at two open houses held in the past year.
“Of course, we always have a few people who don’t agree with the project or who want to learn more about it. But we find this was minimal for that region, especially compared to other places.”
Turbines would be about one kilometre from the nearest houses, even though the legal setback in the Municipality of the District of Arygle is 300 metres, Moura said.
Anaia had also proposed a 50-megawatt wind farm in West Jeddore on the Eastern Shore but put that plan on hold because of community opposition and concerns from Halifax Regional Municipality.
The renewable electricity administrator said he expects to receive more than 12 bids today.
“Based on all indications – the questions from parties – we expect to get significant interest from a number of different developers,” John Dalton said.
The administrator, a consultant based in Massachusetts, said he expects all the bids will be for wind projects, although the competition is open to other types of energy, including biomass and tidal.
The administrator has told developers they can expect a decision by July 19.
A further 10 days have been set aside for contracts to be negotiated and signed before the public announcement is made.
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