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Province approves Liverpool Wind Energy Storage Project wind farm

A Queens County wind farm proposed by Liverpool Wind Energy Storage Project Inc. got the green light from the province Thursday, while another in Hants County by Scotian WindFields Inc. was put on hold.

The six-megawatt Hardwood Lands Community Wind Project was expected to bring three turbines to private land about seven kilometres outside Nine Mile River in East Hants.

Construction was expected to begin in the spring or summer of 2016.

However, in a letter published on his department website Thursday, Environment Minister Andrew Younger determined there was “insufficient” information to let the venture go ahead at this time.

He asked Scotian WindFields and its partners in the project – Scotian Wind Inc., SWEB Development Inc. and WEB Wind Energy North America Inc. – for more information.

This includes the potential effects of the project on the Mi’kmaq community, including traditional use of the land, the water supply of Indian Brook Mi’kmaq Reserve No. 14 and sound and shadow flicker duration for the reserve, along with archeological shovel testing results.

The information must be submitted within a year, and Younger said he will render his decision within 50 days of receiving it.

The project is being developed under Nova Scotia’s Community Feed-In Tariff program, which was recently cancelled by the Liberal government.

Another project, which includes testing of new energy storage technology, is going ahead as planned.

“I am satisfied that any adverse effects or significant environmental effects of the undertaking can be adequately mitigated through compliance with the attached terms and conditions,” Younger wrote in a letter Thursday granting approval to Liverpool Wind Energy’s project.

Some of those conditions include developing and implementing a program to monitor birds and bats in the area before clearing and ensuring noise levels do not exceed 40 decibels once the turbines are operational.

The Dartmouth firm created by Watts Wind Energy Inc. and Unify Energy Inc. has plans to erect wind turbines about four kilometres outside Brooklyn. The project’s two Enercon-92 turbines are expected to produce a total of 4.7 megawatts of power.

“This project is the first wind energy facility to be associated with a regenerative air energy storage system,” the company said in its submission to the province.

If approved, the system would be the province’s “first grid-connected energy storage system.”

As part of the project, LightSail Energy Inc. of California is expected to field-test its innovative energy storage technology at the Innovacorp Demonstration Centre as part of the project.

Danielle Fong, formerly of Dartmouth, is co-founder and chief scientist at LightSail, and her father, Greg Fong, is vice-president of Unify Energy.

Construction of the Liverpool-area wind farm project is expected to begin in March, with turbines in operation in October.