Renewable Energy Services Ltd (RESL) received conditional provincial environmental approval for its planned $55 million wind farm in Point Tupper. The proposed wind farm could provide enough electricity to power up to 6,000 homes. The project was selected through a request for proposals issued by Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSP). The project received environmental approval from Richmond municipal council subjected to a number of conditions.
The proposed project would see the development of a 22 megawatt (MW) wind farm under its power purchase agreement with NSP.
The 11 additional turbines that are to be constructed there — the German-made model Enercon E-82 — will be twice as large as the existing turbine and erected on 80-metre towers.
“I am satisfied following a review of the information provided by RESL, and through the government and public consultation as part of the environmental assessment, that any adverse effects or significant environmental effects of the undertaking can be adequately mitigated through compliance with the attached terms and conditions,” former Environment Minister Mark Parent wrote.
According to the environmental assessment approval, the proponent must commence work on the proposed project within two years, unless granted a written extension by the minister, and must implement all mitigation and commitments outlined in the registration document, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Environment.
Other terms of the environment assessment approval include conducting surveys of migratory birds before construction, and develop a program to monitor for birds and bats, and make any necessary changes to mitigation plans. It also must guarantee prior to construction that late-maturing plant species of conservation concern are not affected by the project.
As per the approval, the company must perform a field program to illustrate wetlands and streams so they can be projected during construction and maintenance, and must monitor the effects of construction on groundwater. Noise levels and shadow flicker must also be monitored. A complaint resolution plan to address concerns related to the project has to be developed, and aboriginal groups must be engaged before construction to discuss any impact on traditional Mi’kmaq resources.
When the project was made public, it was announced that the turbines would be delivered in spring 2009 and will be installed during summer 2009. The plant would start operation by fall of 2009.
The province is striving to have 20% of its electricity produced from renewable energy sources by 2013, which would reduce 750,000 tones of carbon dioxide from being released and would involve a $1 billion investment in infrastructure.