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Scotian WindFields windmills climbed and vandalized in Beaverbank  

Credit:  By Natalie Dobbin, CBC News | Posted: Feb 13, 2016 | www.cbc.ca ~~

Police are looking for someone who climbed up windmills and caused thousands in damage to a project in Beaverbank, N.S.

Four wind turbines at the North Beaverbank Community Wind Project, run by Scotian WindFields, appear to be vandalized, after police were called around 6 a.m. Feb. 4, RCMP Const. Mark Skinner said Friday.

“Somehow they were able to enter the access doors of the windmills and then climb around inside,” Skinner said.

“It’s very fortunate someone didn’t electrocute themselves or hurt themselves in some way, shape or form when they were around the windmills.”

Thousands in damage

One or two of the turbines were shut off and a rescue kit was stolen from each, according to Gay Harley, a community manager at the site.

She said she didn’t have a dollar figure on the damage, but it was into the thousands.

“I know it was a lot, a lot less damage that we thought could have happened, considering they were able to access the turbine,” Harley said.

Fuel stolen

The wind project sits on land owned by Barrett Truss and Building Supplies, of which David Barrett is the co-owner and woodland manager. His employee, a trucker, was the first to see the damage.

The locked gate in front of the road leading to the turbines was torn apart, he said.

“We also had a boom truck there and [the vandals] ruined the ignition and stole the fuel out of it,” Barrett said.

Not ‘a single complaint’

Barrett said he didn’t think the vandalism was a result of people upset with the turbines.

“I don’t think they’ve had a single complaint here in Beaverbank on that windfarm,” Barrett said.

In fact, the wind farm company gives back to the community, donating around $5,000 a year for 20 years, Barrett said. It also donates one per cent of its gross income to the Beaverbank Community Awareness Association each year, he said.

Past experience?

Barrett said he believes the person who broke in had to know about wind projects, but Harley doesn’t think it was someone from their company.

In fact, Harley said she thinks those responsible may have learned from past experience. There was a separate break in at a project in Nine Mile River, she said.

That time, the vandals weren’t able to get into the turbines, she said.

“They may have learned from their first excursion, what tools they needed,” Harley said.

Reward offered

Skinner would not comment on suspects and said only the case is under investigation.

Barrett and Scotian WindFields are offering $500 each to anyone who brings forward information that leads to the arrest or conviction of those responsible.

Source:  By Natalie Dobbin, CBC News | Posted: Feb 13, 2016 | www.cbc.ca

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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