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Tariff assistance sought for possible Kemptown wind turbine

TRURO – It’s not too late to apply for a feed-in tariff program, say officials who are contemplating erecting a wind turbine in Kemptown.

During a recent presentation to Colchester County councillors by Endurance Wind Power and Wayne Wamboldt, the county’s director of solid waste management, Wamboldt said there’s still a possibility of making use of the Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program, despite the fact COMFIT recently announced it’s “pausing” to evaluate the program. It was previously reported new applications won’t be processed until after the re-evaluation.

“I wouldn’t make this presentation if I didn’t think” it could work, Wamboldt said, referring to the tariff for local renewable electricity projects related to community owned initiatives that are connected to a distribution grid.

Wamboldt refused to give further details related to COMFIT, outside of an in-camera session.

Mike Carey, project developer with Endurance, agreed the county should still apply if it intends to go forward with another wind turbine project. Colchester County is considering erecting one or two 50-kilowatt wind turbines on the balefill property in Kemptown.

“It would be about one kilometer from the Kemptown (balefill) site on Mingo Road … the nearest resident is more than 1.5 kilometres away (and) it wouldn’t be visible to the nearest resident,” said Wamboldt, adding there would be “minimal” clearing to accommodate the turbine, which has a lifespan of about 30 years.

“There’s an opportunity for us to grab a little profit,” he said.

Endurance officials said if the county purchased two turbines, it would cost more than $1 million to fully install and connect. Although annual revenue is estimated to be $70,000 for one turbine, the true value would diminish to about $6,000 a year for a number of years, after expenses and loan payments, said county CAO Ramesh Ummat.

It wouldn’t be until year 13 of a 20-year contract that it would be paid and start generating “real” money, confirmed Ummat.

Carey confirmed with the Truro Daily News it’s possible the project could take place this spring if council gives consent to proceed. Councillors will discuss the topic again. County staff will also investigate the project and pass it along to the budgeting process.