September 6, 2017
Nova Scotia

Proposal aims to guide ‘appropriate’ large-scale wind turbine development for Kings County

Kings County Register | September 6, 2017 |

He isn’t a proponent of wind energy but a concerned Kings County citizen hopes a proposal he wrote will be used to help guide “appropriate” large-scale wind turbine development.

With public participation meetings scheduled on the proposed new Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB) for the County of Kings, Warren Peck of Black River Road hopes council will consider the proposal before approving the draft documents.

Peck said there was a “watershed moment” at a community meeting in March 2015 when a map was presented showing large-scale wind turbine separation distances. It revealed a location in southwest Kings County capable of large-scale wind energy development that could provide 3.5 km separation distances between turbines and the nearest residents.

He said the proposed MPS and LUB documents contain policy and regulations that would allow for 1,000 m or less separation distance between large-scale wind turbines and existing residential dwellings. There could be scenarios with as little as 750 m setback.

This is “virtually the same” setback as was contained in the municipality’s original bylaw governing large-scale wind turbines, 700 m. Council repealed the bylaw in the wake of public outcry in 2012.

“You must appreciate that most people feel that, well, we said what had to be said and they’ve forgotten about it and they’re trusting that the right thing will be done,” Peck said.

His proposal shows that you could drop the footprint of the South Canoe wind farm in Lunenburg County into the proposed area of Crown land in the southwest corner of Kings.

Peck makes several comparisons between the two sites, illustrating that the proposed location off Aylesford Road has many attributes indicating strong potential for wind energy development. He said you could easily put in 40 turbines, each standing 490 feet tall. The Kings site could generate 100 to 120 megawatt nameplate production, compared to 102 at South Canoe.

He said consolidating wind development in one location is a responsible approach environmentally, as a single road could be built to access the site and it’s within seven kilometres of an existing transmission line.

Peck said the most important and critical aspect of the proposal would be the requirement to collaborate with all residents within five kilometres of the proposed wind park at the beginning of a policy writing process.

Peck said that large-scale wind turbines could become virtually obsolete in the near future as photovoltaic (solar) technology and storage capacity for the energy produced increases.

He said he had a meeting scheduled with Kings County planners prior to the upcoming public participation sessions on the draft MPS and LUB to discuss his proposal.

Council consideration

Mayor Peter Muttart said council has to give “serious consideration” to Peck’s proposal, which Muttart describes as “an intelligent piece of work.”

Muttart said his belief is that “we should not dot the landscape” with large-scale wind turbines. He said it seems logical to preserve our view scape in the County of Kings, keeping it agricultural.

Muttart said the area explored through Peck’s proposal features the same wind attributes as the South Canoe project. The municipality is seeking a test tower for the area defined. It’s viable on paper but it would take 18 months to study the wind regime to determine if the area would be viable to develop a wind farm.

He said the municipality would have to consult with residents within five kilometres of the proposed site so they could give feedback and input.

Muttart said the municipality is now into the public participation process with regard to the proposed new MPS and LUB, with public meetings scheduled.

“It’s fair to say we’ve all developed opinions around the draft documents that are out there but we have no intention of changing those draft documents, because it will just confuse people, until after people have had their opportunity for input,” he said.

The matter of wind energy is addressed in Section 2.8 Energy, Draft 2, of the MPS and Sections 15.1 Specific Use Regulations – Wind Turbines and 15.2 Meteorological Towers, Draft 1, of the LUB.

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