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Wind project seeks N.S. approval  

Credit:  By JOANNE ALBERSTAT Business Reporter | The Chronicle Herald | January 18, 2013 | thechronicleherald.ca ~~

The Environment Department is being asked to approve a three-turbine wind project in Three Mile Plains, Hants County.

Martock Ridge Community Wind Project was registered for a provincial environmental assessment on Friday.

The six-megawatt wind farm will be located near Ski Martock on land being leased from the Town of Windsor.

“It’s one of five projects we hope to build this year,” Dan Roscoe, chief operating officer of Scotian WindFields Inc., said in an interview. “It’s the only one large enough to require an environmental assessment.”

Dartmouth-based Scotian WindFields and sister company Scotian Wind Inc., a community economic development investment fund, will own the project in partnership with Toronto-based WEB Wind Energy North America Inc.

The project, which will cost roughly $15 million, is being developed as part of the province’s community feed-in tariff program, or COMFIT.

It encourages municipalities, First Nations and community groups to own and operate small renewable energy projects and sets the price at which they’ll sell their electricity to Nova Scotia Power for 20 years.

Roscoe said Martock Ridge is Scotian’s first COMFIT project to require an environmental assessment, which is required for projects larger than two megawatts.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau has until March 9 to make a decision.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring or summer, pending environmental approval. The project, which will have three two-megawatt turbines, is slated to be operational in the fall or winter.

The turbines would be more than two kilometres from the nearest house, according to a 31-page environmental assessment prepared by Strum Environmental.

Roscoe said the project partners have had one open house in the Municipality of West Hants and are planning another in the coming weeks.

The Scotian WindFields COO said the environmental assessment report didn’t include any surprises.

“We’ve done a substantial amount of monitoring already. A lot of these times, there is no existing information for those areas, so on-going monitoring is important.”

Roscoe said a detailed environmental protection plan is also required because the project is located in a watershed.

Scotian Wind is also in the midst of a share offering related to the five projects being constructed in 2013.

Besides Martock Ridge, the others are located in Argyle, Inverness, Richmond County and Annapolis.

All are being done as COMFIT projects, except Annapolis, which has a power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power.

Roscoe said the Community Economic Development Investment Fund, which already has more than 1,000 shareholders across the province, is seeking at least 25 local investors in each of the four areas with a COMFIT project. The minimum investment requirement is $100.

Source:  By JOANNE ALBERSTAT Business Reporter | The Chronicle Herald | January 18, 2013 | thechronicleherald.ca

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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