Wind: We've got it

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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MONCTON Theres now little doubt that Cumberland County is pretty windy.

A study by a researcher from the University of Moncton for inclusion in a Nova Scotia wind atlas indicates pockets of areas along the Northumberland Strait, near Amherst and along the Fundy Shore as being conducive to the development of wind energy.

There are a number of good places in that area as well as in the rest of the province, Gagnon said. The potential is good in the Cape Chignecto area but theres a park there and theres also good areas along the Bay of Fundy near Amherst.

Other areas include the Gulf Shore and Malagash peninsula as well as the Cobequid Highlands. The best areas in the province are in Cape Breton and in southwest of Nova Scotia.

Supported by a $78,000 research grant from the province, Gagnon joined with the Applied Geomatics Research Group at NSCC to create a wind atlas that illustrates how much wind is available and where to find it.

Cumberland County is becoming a popular area for wind farm developers. Along the proposed project in the Gulf Shore, there are already turbines in Rodney and Higgins Mountain with more expected to be added. There are also proposals for projects on the marsh near Amherst.

Gagnon said the atlas, available at www.nswindatlas.ca, will serve as a valuable tool for future wind policy and planning and will assist small scale wind developers without mapping resources to assess the viability of potential projects.

Nova Scotia has an exceptional wind regime because there are winds above seven meters per second in many areas and covering large areas, Gagnon said. There are good wind regimes in various regions of the province including Cumberland County. When developing wind energy its better to have small wind farms over a larger territory. This maximizes the extraction of the energy from the wind.

The province wants to double the green energy supply by 2013. The number of turbines is expected to jump by 600 per cent by that period.

Organizations: University of Moncton, Applied Geomatics Research Group

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Amherst Cape Chignecto Bay of Fundy Cobequid Highlands Cape Breton Rodney

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