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Local council denies Eastern Kings wind farm a permit

An expansion at the wind farm in Eastern Kings, which the P.E.I. government said was a go last month, has been denied a permit by the local municipality.

In September, Minister of Environment Natalie Jameson approved the expansion subject to 17 conditions drawn from responses from the public.

On Thursday night, the Rural Municipality of Eastern Kings voted 3-1 against a permit for the expansion.

“I think council is just relieved to have had that meeting over with,” Deputy Mayor Danelle Elliott told CBC News.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time and a lot of thought and hard work has gone into it. Their decisions were not made lightly and it’s a relief to have that decision made.”

Mayor Grace Cameron recused herself from the vote because of a conflict of interest, leaving Elliott in the chair. She did not have to vote because it was not a tie.

Councillors expressed concern that the environmental cost of the wind farm would be greater than the benefit, said Elliott. They also worried the proposed expansion would be greater in size and scale than what would be appropriate for the community.

“It’s out of our hands what happens next,” said Elliott.

“The P.E.I. Energy Corporation has a chance to appeal our decision. I’m not sure where they’re going with that.”

Provincial Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers said Friday that he is “disappointed with the results” of the council vote.

“We know that our application was completely in order, there wasn’t anything out of line with what we put in place,” said Myers, who as minister is on the board of the P.E.I. Energy Corporation.

“So we [are] looking at what our options are. ”

The current wind farm has 10 turbines and produces 30 MW of electricity. The proposed expansion would add seven turbines and another 30 MW.