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Wind farm in preliminary exploration stage

Preliminary work is underway for the potential development of a 50-megawatt, 10-turbine wind farm in Sandy Point, Shelburne County.

“We are in the very, very preliminary stages of developing a project here on the inner spine of the Sandy Point peninsula,” said Bill MacLean, president of Community Wind Farms Inc.

“In large part the project is south of the Lake Road,” he said. “We have wind studies going on there now and are talking to property owners. We’ve engaged an environmental company to conduct a year-long study. A lot of things are happening but at the same token its still kind of an ‘if.’ We’re hoping something will happen here, but certainly there is no absolute certainty.”

If it goes ahead, the project would encompass private and some Crown land, said MacLean. The nearest residence is 1,300 metres away. “We’re trying to stay away from houses and the impact on local residents,” he said.

The year-long environmental impact study must be completed before construction can start and will take into account particular sensitivity to proximity to homes, avoidance of water courses and wetlands, recognition to unique plant life, bird risk and nesting areas, sound impact on homes, flicker sight, the view plane from homes and mitigation plans to avoid negative impacts.

MacLean said the project is “very dependant on Nova Scotia Power publishing an RFP (Request for Proposals), us replying to it and being successful at that competition. It’s very highly tentative but we’re moving toward a successful conclusion.”

MacLean has met with the Municipality of Shelburne and Town of Shelburne councils to make them aware of the project, adding they seemed pleased with the level of engagement so far, but were concerned about public acceptance and due process.

If and when the project reaches the public consultation phase, it would involve a public information session in a local community hall if COVID allows, community flyers and various other methods to connect with the community.

Based in Halifax, Community Wind Farms Inc. has been active in renewable energy development since 2002. In 2014, four wind farms developed by the company in Nova Scotia under the COMFIT Program were commissioned including Whynotts Wind Farm, Pockwock Wind Farm, Millbrook Wind Farm and Truro Heights Wind Farm, producing a total of 20 megawatts and all using Vestas V-100 2MW turbines at 100m hub height.

Community Wind Farms Inc. has also developed several wind farms in New Brunswick in Cap Pele and a 20 MW project in Pokeshaw developed with a local community partner under NB Power LORESS program, is expected to be commissioned this year.

“We are working on projects totalling 350MW in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, with anticipated commissioning dates of 2022-2025,” states the company’s website.