The Martock Ridge Community Wind Project has received approval from Nova Scotia Environment.
The proposed six-megawatt,three-turbine wind farm is mapped out for the Mills Lake Watershed Protected area in Three Mile Plains, on a parcel of land owned by the Town of Windsor.
Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau granted the proposed project, pitched by Scotian WindFields Inc., Scotian Wind Inc., and WEB Wind Energy North America Inc., environmental assessment approval July 24.
“There were no unusual conditions to our approval so we were happy about that,” said Scotian WindFields CEO Dan Roscoe,in an interview following the release of Belliveau’s decision.
The minister’s decision outlines a number of conditions that must be met for the project to move forward: it work must start within two years unless an extension is granted through Nova Scotia Environment (NSE), the developer must monitor the impact on birds, bats and other species and submit annual reports to regulators, deforestation, clearing and grubbing work is only permitted between Sept. 1 and March 30 in order to reduce the impact on breeding birds, and water wells within 800 metres of a blast site must be tested before blasting.
The conditions outlined in the report also state that sound modeling and shadow flicker assessments are to be completed before construction takes place, and while the turbines are operational. The noise level must remain below 40dBA, shadow flicker cannot exceed 30 minutes per day at the nearest receptor and turbines must be installed at least 30 metres from a wetland.
With the environmental assessment completed, Roscoe said the next step is to work with the Municipality of West Hants to devise a development agreement “as soon as possible.”
He predicts the wind project will generate about $35,000 in annual tax revenue for the Municipality of West Hants.
The developers will also have to meet with Town of Windsor officials to reach a land leasing agreement, Roscoe added.
“We hope to finish up those two agreements early this fall,” he said, noting that some of the roadwork for the wind project may begin this winter but the turbines are not likely to arrive until next summer.
The turbines will be located at least two kilometres from any homes and environmental regulations will be followed, Roscoe said.
“There will be a detailed plan established with the (Town of Windsor) to ensure we avoid any negative impact on the watershed area. There will be appropriate sedimentation and erosion control to ensure that our project doesn’t have a negative impact.”
The energy produced by the turbines will be sold to Nova Scotia Power for at least 20 years. It is estimated the turbines will be able to provide power for roughly 1,700 homes.
To read the minister’s decision in its entirety visit: www.gov.ns.ca/nse/ea/martock-ridge.asp.
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