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Nova Scotia seeks info on wind farm’s effect on lynx

Provincial Environment Minister Randy Delorey wants more information on what impact a $110-million Cape Breton wind energy project might have on endangered Canada lynx.

The minister said Friday he needs more information on the environmental assessment of the proposed 50-megawatt, 30-turbine East Bay Hills Wind Project near East Bay.

“During the environmental assessment review, it was determined that additional information is required to evaluate the high potential for adverse effects within the limited remaining habitat of endangered Canada lynx,” the minister said in a July 25 letter to Tom Bird of project developer BluEarth Renewables Inc. of Guelph, Ont.

“Study methodology and project scope must be developed in consultation with, and to the satisfaction of, Nova Scotia Environment and Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.”

BluEarth is developing the project, located on Crown land 50 kilometres southwest of Sydney, through subsidiary Cape Breton Hydro Inc.

“Cape Breton Hydro Inc. must use this information to better inform the proposed road and turbine layout in order to maximize avoidance of impacts to Canada lynx habitat to the greatest extent possible while balancing other habitat conservation issues such as wetland avoidance,” the minister said.

Delorey also asked for more information on the project’s effects on wetland plants and on the noise it would generate.

Cape Breton Hydro must submit the additional information within a year. The minister will make a decision on approving the project within 50 days of receiving amended registration documentation.

Bird could not be reached for comment Friday.

BluEarth owns or has a stake in wind, hydro and solar projects operating or under development in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

The company’s major investors are the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and ARC Financial of Calgary.