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Scotian seeks provincial nod; Wind farm plan submitted for environmental OK

A Dartmouth wind developer is seeking provincial environmental approval for a four-megawatt project in the Nine Mile River area.

Scotian WindFields Inc. of Dartmouth and sister company Scotian Wind Inc., a community economic development investment fund, will own the two-turbine venture in partnership with Toronto’s WEB Wind Energy North America Inc.

The $10-million to $12-million project was registered with the Environment Department on Friday.

A decision is expected by early December.

Dan Roscoe, chief operating officer of Scotian WindFields, said the companies are pleased with the results of a recent environmental assessment on the project.

“The turbines are set well back from any residences in an actively managed woodlot,” he said in an interview. “Existing roads, distance from houses and an active commercial use make it an excellent site for wind turbines.”

Scotian WindFields and its partners hope to begin construction next summer and have the project operational by the end of 2014.

The wind farm would be located on a Renfrew, Hants County, site owned by Elmsdale Lumber.

The nearest dwelling is a cottage that’s 1.3 kilometres from the turbines.

The environmental assessment, completed for the developers by Strum Consulting of Bedford, concludes that the project won’t have major environmental impacts. The report does say steps should be taken to protect and monitor some endangered species of bird and bats found in the area.

Proposed measures include avoiding construction during bird breeding and nesting season, and not locating turbines near bat habitat.

Roscoe said a series of public meetings have been held in the community and another is planned in the coming weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in Nine Mile (River). In general, the community feels that it’s well sited.”

The project is also seeking a development permit from the Municipality of East Hants, he said.

The wind farm is proposed under the province’s community feed-in tariff program, which encourages community groups, First Nations and municipalities to own and operate small renewable energy projects by giving them a fixed, long-term price for their electricity.

The Nine Mile River community wind project is expected to generate enough energy to power 1,000 homes.