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Group asks URB to stop Colchester County wind project

A Bible Hill-area community group has turned to the provincial regulator in its effort to stop a wind energy project.

“They’re industrializing our rural neighbourhood,” Claudia LeClerc, with the group Friends of Harmony, Greenfield and Surrounding Areas, said Monday.

LeClerc said her home is one of 53 located within two kilometres of the site where two turbines are to be installed this year.

“Each turbine measures about 410 feet from the base to the tip of the blade,” she said.

The group wants the Utility and Review Board to stop the project by overturning an extension granted by the provincial Energy Department.

LeClerc said the group has been fighting the planned installation of the turbines for about three years.

“The voice and interests of the affected rural residents that have to live with industrial turbines for decades should count more than the voices and interests of the developers and owner who come from outside these communities,” states the notice of appeal filed with the review board.

Affinity Wind LP wants to install the turbines at Harmony in Colchester County.

LeClerc said the group filed its notice of appeal by the stated deadline and hopes it will lead to a public hearing.

“We have quite a story to tell.”

She said it will likely be several weeks before the organization learns if the appeal will be heard.

The Harmony project is being developed through the provincial Community Feed-in Tariff Program. It received approval from Environment Minister Randy Delorey last January.

“I am satisfied that any adverse effects or significant environment efforts of the undertaking can be adequately mitigated,” Delorey said in his notice of approval.

The non-profit Nova Scotia SPCA is working with Pictou County wind developer Reuben Burge on the project.

Burge is president of RMSenergy, operator of a 51-megawatt wind farm at Dalhousie Mountain. The two turbines at Harmony would have combined generating power of 3.2 megawatts.

“This is a good project and the broader community is supportive,” Burge said Monday.

He said the setback distances for the turbines are about double the provincial limit.

“We’ve got the foundations and a road done and a contract for the towers to be built at DSTN Trenton.”

Burge said he preferred not to comment on the particulars of the request for an appeal.