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P.E.I. Energy Corporation appeals decision to deny wind farm expansion

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation has filed an appeal of a decision by the Rural Municipality of Eastern Kings to deny a permit for an expansion of a wind farm.

The municipal council voted on Oct. 22 to deny the permit, after the provincial government had approved the expansion. Councillors had expressed concern that the environmental cost of the wind farm would be greater than the benefit.

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation filed its appeal with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission on Nov. 12.

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

In its notice of appeal, the energy corporation said the council’s decision “failed to follow the intent and objectives of its official plan and subdivision and control bylaw,” which it said permit windmills within the community for the purposes of electrical power generation.

It said council did not provide sufficient reasons to deny the application.

“They simply stated that proposed development was not in the best interests of the residents of Eastern Kings,” the notice of appeal said.

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation owns and operates wind farms at Elmira, Hermanville/Clearspring and North Cape.

P.E.I. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Steven Myers, who sits on the corporation’s board of directors, said investing in wind energy is part of the government’s bigger plan to create a sustainable future for the Island.

“This appeal is to preserve our ability to continue with the project. But before we proceed, we are asking Islanders to share their thoughts on wind expansion and this project. Do you want us to continue to make investments in renewable energy on P.E.I.?” he said in the legislature Tuesday.