Proposed wind farm may turn out to be Nova Scotia’s largest

A proposed wind farm in Hants County, N.S., stands to turn out to be the most important wind power generator within the province and provides a lift towards the provincial authorities’s renewable power targets.

Pure Forces, a Halifax-born energy firm, submitted its plans for the Benjamins Mills wind venture to Nova Scotia’s Division of Surroundings this week. The corporate is searching for approval to construct as much as 28 generators about 13 kilometres southwest of the city of Windsor.

The wind farm may generate as much as 150 megawatts, or, by the corporate’s estimate, sufficient energy for as many as 50,000 houses.

Nova Scotia is already dotted with a whole lot of wind generators, however few present farms are on the identical scale because the one Pure Forces desires to construct. 

The West Pubnico Level Wind Farm has 17 generators that produce about 30 megawatts of electrical energy, sufficient to energy greater than 9,000 houses. There are greater than 300 industrial wind generators producing electrical energy within the province. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

The South Canoe Wind Challenge in Lunenburg County at the moment holds the title of Nova Scotia’s largest, with 34 generators and a technology capability of 102 megawatts.

The Benjamins Mills venture would have fewer generators than South Canoe, however they’d be taller, at 200 metres from floor to blade tip (that is equal to a 60-storey constructing), and generate extra power. 

“Know-how has come a great distance with wind generators within the final whereas,” mentioned Meg Morris, growth supervisor for Pure Forces.

Land already clear reduce for forestry

In response to the paperwork filed with the province, 24 of the generators can be put in on leased personal land and 4 on leased Crown land — all areas that have been beforehand forested however clear reduce by trade.

In its proposal, the corporate suggests putting in a wind farm on the chosen website can be use of land that is already been altered by human exercise. 

The world has the additional benefit of elevation that will permit the generators to seize excessive wind speeds, logging roads for entry, close by transmission traces for connecting to the electrical grid and setbacks of at the very least one kilometre from any houses.

Wind generators have been a fixture of panorama for freeway drivers passing Amherst, N.S., for the previous decade. (Paul Darrow/Reuters)

If all goes in response to plan, Pure Forces desires to start out development towards the tip of 2022, with the goal of getting turbine blades spinning by 2024. The entire venture, nonetheless, is contingent on just a few issues.

One issue is authorities approval. The venture requires growth permits from the West Hants Regional Municipality and environmental approval from the province. 

West Hants Mayor Abraham Zebian mentioned the corporate has already been consulting with the group and he was not conscious of any opposition to the venture.

With the environmental approval paperwork filed with the province, the general public can now submit feedback to the Surroundings Division till Feb. 17. The minister has a deadline of March 9 to decide concerning the proposal.

Ready on provincial tenders 

The wind farm additionally hinges on Pure Forces placing a deal, referred to as an influence buy settlement, to promote the power it will generate. The corporate is hoping to safe such an settlement via certainly one of a pair aggressive bidding processes the province is anticipated to open this yr, which will probably be for renewable power, completely.

“We count on extra alternatives sooner or later, as nicely,” mentioned Morris. “The province has set very formidable objectives for renewable power, so to achieve these objectives, they will want a number of tasks.”

Relying on these elements, Morris mentioned the dimensions of the venture may change. The corporate has contingency plans to dimension right down to as few as eight generators producing 50 megawatts.

Even when this venture goes forward at full scale, there would nonetheless be a protracted method to go for Nova Scotia to achieve its objective of utilizing 80 per cent renewable power by 2030.

About 30 per cent of Nova Scotia’s energy comes from renewable sources. About two-thirds of that power is wind-generated. A spokesperson for Nova Scotia Energy mentioned the utility expects to extend renewable power use to 60 per cent this yr.

Mi’kmaw possession

Whereas Pure Forces is the only real title hooked up to the venture on the paperwork filed with the province, a Mi’kmaw firm additionally has a stake.

The Wskijnu’okay Mtmo’taqnuow Company, an organization owned collectively by Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaw bands, owns a majority share of the proposed wind farm.

Pure Forces mentioned the precise breakdown of the partnership is confidential. The corporate additionally declined to supply an estimate of the venture’s price.

The Wskijnu’okay Mtmo’taqnuow Company, referred to as WMA, was beforehand hooked up to the proposed workforce lodge for the Goldboro pure fuel plant — a venture that was shelved final yr.

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