Increasing distance between home and turbines would end development

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Increasing the distance between wind turbines and residences to two kilometres would effectively end the development of a proposed windfarm on the Gulf Shore.

"Without question if the municipality enacted bylaws requiring two kilometres we would simply just terminate further work on the project," Atlantic Wind Power Corporation president Charles Demond said after speaking to Cumberland municipal council.

Increasing the distance between wind turbines and residences to two kilometres would effectively end the development of a proposed windfarm on the Gulf Shore.

Without question if the municipality enacted bylaws requiring two kilometres we would simply just terminate further work on the project, Atlantic Wind Power Corporation president Charles Demond said after speaking to Cumberland municipal council. Two kilometres would be at the absolute extreme of anything thats being contemplated around the globe.

While the project is still in the development phase, the company hopes to erect 20 to 27 wind turbines on the Gulf Shore near the Irishtown Road. The company is holding an open house in Pugwash on April 11.

Cumberland County is in the process of regulating wind turbines and has proposed a setback of three times a turbines height. It could be in a position to pass its bylaw on April 18.

It seems to me as though what the municipality is proposing is sensible, but we as a company have gone one step further by saying these will be 500 metres from any existing residence, Demond said, adding the county would be the first to regulate wind turbines.

Gulf Shore resident Lisa Betts, who also appeared before council, urged the municipality to take a long look at its setback requirements and to give consideration to factors such as noise, health and environmental impact.

Virtually all my life I have been involved in the environmental movement and Im very pro-Green. My problem is the setback distance. It should be a lot further than whats being proposed, Betts said. People just dont know what the issue is. The wind energy companies have presented their case for years and it has been politically incorrect to challenge. There are problems popping up and thats why its important for that information to come out.

Demond said there arent such stringent setbacks for highways, airports, factories or industrial developments and cant understand why there should be such a large distance between turbines and homes.

I dont want to be butting heads with people, but it is frustrating that so many things that are largely irrelevant are raised as issues such as high voltage cables, bird kills and infrasound. Theyre not issues, Demond said. What it comes down to is how close do you want it and whats an acceptable level of sound. We believe weve addressed that.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Atlantic Wind Power, Cumberland municipal council

Geographic location: Irishtown Road, Pugwash, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Steve
    January 18, 2010 - 11:13

    Any size wind turbine should be contained by all of the affects of the size unit to the property that is being leased. This is the problem developers size to large of a unit for the parsal of land that its proposed for. TRY ALASKA

  • joanne
    January 18, 2010 - 10:41

    Wind turbines don't belong in residential areas. That is why most jurisdictions in Europe, the US, and slowly coming in Canada, are recommending no less than 2 km setback distance. Mr. Demond is frustrated about these reported non issues like Daniel D'Entremont and his family in West Pubnico reporting the windfarm low frequency noise (of which there are insufficient studies) made them sick. Mr. Demond said his turbines were properly placed at 2 x the height of the turbine away per the zoning bylaw. So let's review. The developer meets with council to petition the setback zone, threatens to pull out if their demands are not met, and when illnesses occur, says well council set the setback zone, not us, we have done nothing wrong.

  • Lisa
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    Noise is recognized as a significant cause of stress and stress-related illness in modern society. WTGs (Wind Turbine Generators) may produce sound at frequencies below (infrasound) and above (ultrasound) the audible range. More and more people are describing their lives as unbearable when they are directly exposed to the acoustic and optical effects of wind farms. There are reports of people being signed off sick and unfit for work, there is a growing number of complaints about symptoms such as pulse irregularities and states of anxiety, which are known to be from the effects of infrasound.

    A government buy-back of residential property in an increasing radius from wind turbines, particularly down-wind might be considered.

    This is a summary of comments made in an article written by the A&C Society of Picton, Ontario.