UPPER NAPPAN – Construction of two new wind turbines, instead of three as originally planned, will start this spring in Cumberland County.
Natural Forces, the wind farm developer, removed one of the turbines, while the other two will remain in the same location.
“What this means is less of a footprint on the ground, it will disturb less wetland alterations and there will be less roads,” said Amy Pellerin, development engineer with wind farm developer, Natural Forces.
Pellerin, along with Andy MaCallum, vice president of development at Natural Forces, gave a presentation to Cumberland County councilors during their bi-weekly meeting.
The wind farm will be built between John Black Road and Pumping Station Road, not far from the Amherst Golf Club.
The three-turbine-plan would have produced six megawatts of power, enough to power 1,500 homes. The new two-turbine-plan will produce the same amount of power.
“The project will be the same electrical capacity, a six-megawatt project, but the turbines, instead of two megawatts each, will be raised to three megawatts each,” said Pellerin.
Raising the electrical capacity of each turbine means the two new turbines will be bigger than previous turbines.
“The hub height, the cell where all the components are, is at 124 metres high. The blade lengths are 50.5 metres,” said Pellerin. “The (three) turbines that were modeled for environmental assessment had a hub-height of 100 metres and a blade height length of 46.”
The province has approved the new turbines.
“All of these changes were approved in late December,” said Pellerin. “We sent out a newsletter at the beginning of January, so everyone was aware of the changes.”
Pellerin said the changes were ‘slight’ and Councilor Don Smith said the change isn’t slight, pointing out the change in the height is about 25 per cent.
Pellerin said she was talking about the change in visual impact.
“There will be one less turbine, so it was my fault for the wording, but the visual impact is going to be less, in our opinion, than if it would have been with three turbines.”
MaCallum said all electricity produced by the farm will stay in Amherst.
“That electricity coming off the wind farm will be staying within the Amherst area, so it won’t go past the substation at Church Street, it won’t be exported to New Brunswick.”
The project will offset approximately 10,000 tons of C02 per year and will provide taxes for the municipality of Cumberland.
“The project itself will pay close to just over $1 million of municipal tax revenue over the life of the project, over 25 years. That’s an average of just over $40,000 a year,” said MaCallum.
– Bigger than Tantramar Marsh turbines
Councilor Don Fletcher asked how big the turbines would be in comparison to the turbines on the Tantramar Marsh.
“The ones on the marsh have a 90-metre hub-height, so they’ll be 35 metres higher than those ones, and the blades are longer as well,” said Pellerin.
– Construction schedule
Winter – Surveying and tree clearing.
Spring – Start road construction, turbine pad construction, foundations, and some of the turbine parts will arrive.
Summer – Concrete foundations, the electrical work by Nova Scotia Power, and the construction of turbines.
Fall – Site clean up, more electrical work from Nova Scotia Power, and the commissioning and inspection of the turbines.
Turbines should be up and running by 2017.
“They could be up spinning by October but not generating full power until Jan. 2017,” said MaCallum.
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