POLITICS

Nova Scotia wind project gets green light after residents oppose construction

03/14/2013 02:34 EDT | Updated 05/14/2013 05:12 EDT
CHESTER, N.S. - Municipal councillors have approved a $200 million wind farm on Nova Scotia's South Shore.

Approval by the Municipality of the District of Chester on Thursday comes after more than 100 people attended a five-hour meeting earlier this month on the project, which was criticized for its proximity to the homes of nearby residents in Lunenburg County.

On its website, the South Canoe Wind Project says it wants to erect 34 turbines between Vaughan and New Russell, which would generate enough power for 32,000 homes. The wind farm is expected to stretch across almost 3,000 hectares and begin producing power late next year.

The project is being led by Minas Basin Pulp and Power, Oxford Frozen Foods and Nova Scotia Power.

John Woods of Minas Basin said the companies want to work with area residents.

"For us to stand fast and appear to be not listening was not acceptable to us, so we think we made all the concessions that we can and still maintain the feasibility of our project," he said. "Hopefully the community will see that the compromises have been made, all to the good."

Chester Warden Allen Webber acknowledged that the proposal has created division in the community.

"This has been an emotional issue for all concerned and there was no real way to come out of it with 100 per cent of the community behind you, it was going to be split," he said. "The decision has been made, we have to move forward and do our best to bring the community back together."

Council approved the development agreement by a vote of 6-1.

New Ross Coun. Tina Connors voted against it, saying the turbines would be too close to homes.

The South Canoe project will generate $660,000 in tax revenue annually over its more than 20-year lifespan.

(CKBW)