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Pandemic delays major wind farm project near Saint John  

Credit:  Elizabeth Fraser | CBC News | Posted: Aug 17, 2020 | www.cbc.ca ~~

A major wind-farm project in southern New Brunswick that was expected to be ready by the end of next year has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Burchill Wind Project near Lorneville, southwest of Saint John, will be set back nine months, postponing its completion to the end of 2022.

“When the impacts of COVID started to land in our region, our focus shifted away from major projects,” said Ryan Mitchell, vice-president of Saint John Energy.

Instead, Mitchell said the company diverted its attention to the safety of employees, maintaining service to customers and stabilizing the company.

Construction starts in 2021

Initially, the pandemic caused about a three-month delay in the wind-farm project.

But when the project started back up again, he said, impacts related to the global supply chain and manufacturing caused an additional six-month delay.

The wind farm would be owned by Halifax based Natural Forces, which would contract with Saint John Energy to buy all of the electricity the farm produces.

Natural Forces has recently registered the project for an environmental impact assessment.

The construction of roads is expected to start next year, allowing the transportation of turbines onto the site.

Then, Saint John Energy will clear a parcel of land to install a new substation, that would allow the wind farm to connect to the company’s distribution system.

Lowering rates for customers

The project is expected to produce about 15 per cent of Saint John Energy’s electrical output. And it would save the utility about $4 million annually during a 25-year lifespan.

This could maintain or even lower rates for customers, Mitchell said.

Saint John Energy answered questions about project funding recently during the city’s municipal finance committee.

Council is expected to vote on the proposal in September.

Source:  Elizabeth Fraser | CBC News | Posted: Aug 17, 2020 | 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.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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