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Residents call for increased setback for wind turbines

PICTOU – Residents of Millsville want county council to extend the distance a wind turbine must be from a home.

A large contingent of residents visited council chambers Monday asking that the setback for wind turbines be extended to 1.5 kilometres from 600 metres.

“We aren’t against alternative energy,” said resident Wayne Pierce. “We just want the setback extended.”

Their request came on the heels of the recent construction of a wind turbine on Tower Road in Millsville built by RMS Energy in Dalhousie Mountain.

RMS owner Ruben Burge told county council that the Millsville wind turbine is 750 metres from the closest home and about an average of 1,300 metres from all of the homes in the area.

RMS currently fills 2 1/2 per cent of the province’s need through his company. His largest wind project includes 34 wind turbines on Dalhousie Mountain.

He said his wind turbines are currently on about 99.6 per cent of the time and generate 100 per cent power about 40 per cent of the time.

Coun. Robert Parker said the main reason the residents are looking for a larger setback is because they are concerned more wind turbines could be erected in the area.

“The residents can accept one tower, but there might be a wind farm built up around them,” he said. “They are living with what’s up there now, but this is the main reason they are looking for a larger setback.”

County council agreed to refer the matter to its planning advisory committee which will come back with its recommendation.