UPPER NAPPAN – EDF energies development manager Stephane Desdunes made a presentation to the Municipality of Cumberland County on Wednesday.
Desdunes said EDF energies would like to build a 50 megawatt wind project, which represents about anywhere between 30 and 60 wind turbines.
The project is mapped to encompass both sides of the Fort Lawrence Road.
“The project area is to the northeast of the Town of Amherst, right by the border,” said Desdunes. “We have over 4,000 acres of privately owned land under option right now.”
They are aiming for commercial operation by Dec. 2014, and want to produce electricity from Jan. 2015 to 2035.”
Desdunes said the economic benefits for the county would include: 150 jobs would be created during construction, with five to eight operation maintenance jobs that would last for the life of the project, which is 20 to 25 years.
“Those (maintenance) jobs are always awarded locally,” said Desdunes. “If something happens you don’t want somebody coming from out of province to fix the problem, so we always hire locally. They will shadow our technicians for a year and then they’ll be on the project for the life of the project.
Desdunes said the project represents $200 million in investment, and they would do local procurement of materials and services whenever possible.
“The county, based on the information we have in terms of a new tax base, would approach $2 million over the life of the project,” said Desdunes. “And in terms of payments to the landowners we’re looking at $8 million over the length of the project.”
Municipality warden Keith Hunter asked if the proposed area is the same area being proposed by Sprott Power, who has built wind turbines on the Tantramar Marsh.
“This is a different project area,” said Desdunes. “Sprott is closer to the Town of Amherst.”