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P.E.I. company calling on government to overturn wind farm decision

The project manager for Eastern Kings Wind Farm expansion project is calling on the P.E.I. government to issue a ministerial order and move the project forward after it was recently rejected by the local municipal council.

In a letter on Tuesday to Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers, Carl Brothers, general manager of P.E.I.’s Frontier Power Systems, called council’s decision a “disappointing, but unsurprising, development for the project”.

On Sept. 2, the province approved the Eastern Kings Wind Farm expansion proposal by the P.E.I. Energy Corporation so long as it met 17 conditions, such as ongoing monitoring of the impact to the environment, under the Environmental Protection Act.

But on Oct. 22, the municipal council rejected the proposal by a 3-1 vote. Some of the concerns expressed by the community and council included cutting down 14 hectares of old-growth forested land (even though one of the province’s conditions was that 42 hectares of land be purchased and preserved for the environment) and the impact on wildlife.

Frontier Power Systems was awarded a $755,082 tender for project management of the seven-turbine, 30-megawatt wind farm expansion project. Another successful bidder was Wood Environmental Infrastructure Solutions in Fredericton, N.B., for $231,860, for environmental consulting.

Brothers further says the project is supported by the majority of landowners, who stand to financially benefit from the project, as will the community. He adds that council’s concerns about the environmenal impact are “scientifically unfounded” and “emotionally driven”. Brothers also wants to see a public engagement committee established to help Islanders use more renewable energy.

The existing 10-turbine wind farm at East Point was constructed in 2006.

– With files from Daniel Brown

Terrence McEachern is The Guardian’s business reporter.