Wind farm seeks provincial OK

Wind farm seeks provincial OK

JOANN ALBERSTAT,  Business Editor, The Chronicle Herald
July 3, 2014


A controversial wind project near Terence Bay, Halifax County, is seeking an environmental nod from the province.

Chebucto Terence Bay Wind Field Ltd. registered the venture with the provincial Environmental Department on Wednesday.

The proposal, which has run into opposition from a residents group, would see three wind turbines erected on private land in the River Road area.

Construction would start in late summer or early fall, with the turbines being operational by December 2015.

Environment Minister Randy Delorey has until Aug. 21 to decide on the plan.

Terry Norman, president of Chebucto Terence Bay Wind Field, said the project has had a thorough environmental assessment. The report was prepared for the company by engineering firm CBCL Ltd.

“Nothing that was found as part of that research that was done indicates there are any significant issue,” Norman said in an interview.

Chebucto Terence Bay Wind Field is a community economic development corporation whose major shareholders are Chebucto Wind Field Ltd. and Renewable Energy Services Ltd. The company also has 36 individual shareholders.

A group called the Friends of River Road challenged the Energy Department’s approval of the 7.4-megawatt project last year.

But the provincial Utility and Review Board dismissed the appeal, saying the group took too long to file it.

Residents had argued that then-energy minister Charlie Parker erred in approving the venture because it didn’t have community support as required under provincial rules.

Liberal Energy Minister Andrew Younger later approved additional capacity for the project, originally slated to be six megawatts.

A spokesperson for Friends of River Road couldn’t be reached Wednesday for comment.

Norman said the project does have many supporters in the Terence Bay area, although the group, which represents about 30 households, continues to oppose it.

During a public meeting in 2012, residents expressed concern about the project’s potential impact on the environment, health and property values.

The assessment report concluded that the project, which is 1.2 kilometres from the nearest home, won’t harm the environment even though it would be adjacent to a wilderness protected area.

An open house on the wind venture will be held today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Prospect Road Community Centre.

The project is being developed under the province’s community feed-in tariff program.