TRURO – Efforts are underway for the eventual installation of two, 50-killowatt wind turbines at the municipal balefill facility in Kemptown.
The estimated $1.2 million project recently received in-principle approval from Colchester County committee and is to be ratified at the next council meeting.
“I look at this as a business venture,” solid waste director Wayne Wamboldt told council.
The municipality will be making an application under the Nova Scotia Department of Energy Community Feed-in Tariff (CoMFIT) program, which would permit it to sell electricity generated by the turbines to Nova Scotia Power at a rate of $0.499 per kilowatt hour produced.
A staff report said that if the turbines operate at only 32 per cent of peak capacity, the capital investment will be paid off in 11 years, after which it would begin generating a net profit of $130,000 per year.
“We’re not spending money here, we’re investing it,” Coun. Doug MacInnes said during council discussion.
Financing for the project is to come from the municipality’s gas tax revenues and internal reserves.
Although some councillors, such as Geoff Stewart, suggested an 11-year return on the project “to me is pretty steep.”
Coun. Lloyd Gibbs agreed.
“It’s all about priorities,” he said, adding that while the concept seems like a good project, “I don’t think it’s the (right) time.”
Others, however, argued that making a $2.6 million profit over 20 years is a sound decision.
“We’re talking 1.2 million bucks,” Deputy Mayor Bill Masters said. “We build sidewalks that cost more than that.”
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