Wind farm proposed for Fort Lawrence area

Dave Mathieson
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More wind turbines have been proposed for the Tantamar Marsh.

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.”



Geographic location: Amherst, Cumberland County, Fort Lawrence Road

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Recent comments

  • Al
    April 10, 2012 - 02:11

    Thirty more windmills,combined with Sprouts possible fifty where will it end.Seems to me the warden and council from the Municipality of Cumberland are seeing nothing but dollar signs,mean while the citizens of Amherst will be left looking at turbines without any imput for the next twenty or thirty years.Wake up Amherst,if the County of Cumberland continues allowing these wind farm projects our sky lines will change forever.

    • mike
      April 11, 2012 - 08:34

      Might change our skyline forever, AL, is probably a good thing. Would be nice however, if we could benefit. Although I am sure that will never happen so we had better focus more on the job creation and the few dollars that might come about because of people coming to take a look. Who knows, while here they might eat in our restaurants, support our gas stations, and maybe even do some shopping. Let's face it, people are excited to see the windmills, they really don't look that bad. And certainly they can't hurt the look of this exit into town. ANything there would be an improvement.

  • Realistic
    April 06, 2012 - 08:22

    Mr. Chow, I heard a rumour too - there is a combination nuclear/coal powered plant being planned for a certain large vacant property right in Amherst. Should the paper chase every crazy rumour out there? Sure, that's a crazy rumour - just as the burning uut equipment one is - but it sure makes windmills seem like a pretty good alternative. I would suspect these windmill farms will be here a long time once in place - it should be very easy to maintain them over the years with upgrading technology once the infrastructure is in place. And it would be a piece of cake to decommission (and maintain) some windmills as compared to a nuclear/coal plant, which these windmills will be replacing. It's great to see this taking off in this area, along with tidal power potential - some can't see a gift horse even when it's right in front of them.

  • dee
    April 05, 2012 - 20:18

    Mr Chow I agree with you 100% The glowing report sounds suave but may not be so glamourous after the life of the project. It is critical to see all the facts to make an informed decision. Perhaps this another "EXPO 67" that Canadians paid for long after the lights went out!!! D.

  • Doug
    April 05, 2012 - 15:49

    I would like the paper to find out when we start paying cheaper power rates?

    • Rich
      April 11, 2012 - 07:18

      Wind power is no cheaper than coal, so you will never see a drop in your power bill.

  • Mr. Chow
    April 05, 2012 - 13:15

    Hey there I have a question and I would like the paper to find this out. What happens to the wind farm once the life of the project is done. How about why not all of the turbines are not running at the same time. I heard a rumor that they can not turn them all on or they will burn out the equipment. It would be really nice to see this paper look into this and not just half the story.

    • jeremy
      April 06, 2012 - 19:36

      Mr Chow. Typically they are upgraded and I would assume that the developers have the appropriate planning approval for any alteration to the wind farm so that at the end of their 20 year life-cycle they would be able to replace and/or upgrade the existing turbines. Otherwise they would be decommissioned and dismantled but the scenario would be unlikely.