Realizing a vision

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Amherst wind project officially opened

An employee of Sprott Power stands atop of 300-metre wind turbine near Amherst. The project was officially opened on Monday.

AMHERST – A vision first created 20 years ago became reality on Monday with the official opening of Sprott Power’s Amherst wind farm project that’s generating enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.

Company president Jeff Jenner joined Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and other dignitaries to cut the ribbon to conclude the construction of the $61-million project just outside Amherst that is generating 31.5 megawatts of electricity.

“This is a special day, it day in which we can breath a big sigh of relief that everything came together as we planned to do it. The weather co-operated, everyone pitched in an we made it a success,” Jenner said following the ceremony. “There were a lot of naysayers who said it couldn’t be done, so we’re glad to convince people otherwise.”

With the project going into full operation, Sprott is turning its attention to expanding the Amherst project and two other projects it has in the province.

Jenner said the company is hoping to add up to three more turbines close to the existing project on the marsh through the COMFIT program, while it will also submit an application later this week to the latest request for proposals that could see an additional 15 turbines on the other side of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The company president understands there is some opposition to the expansion, but hopes to sit down and talk to residents to allay any fears they may have of the project.

“The project will be closer to Amherst, but it will still be pretty far away,” Jenner said, adding the company is sensitive to the setbacks and concerns raised by residents. “We have to be sensitive because we want to be here for the next generation and we want to be good neighbours.”

The premier said the project represents the gains that have been made toward achieving the province’s goal of having 25 per cent of Nova Scotia’s electricity supplied by renewable energy sources by 2014 and 40 per cent by 2020.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate a great project,” the premier said. “This wind farm is a magnificent addition to the horizon that greats visitors when they drive into Nova Scotia.”

The premier noted the project has a Nova Scotia flavour in that the turbine towers were manufactured at the DSTN Trenton facility.

“It’s that kind of synergy that’s helping Nova Scotia meet and exceed its renewable energy targets. This development will play an important role in achieving those goals,” the premier said. “Power rates are continuing to climb and more Nova Scotians are struggling to pay their power bills. One of the first things we did when we came to office was to remove the HST from home energy. The key is switching to cleaner, less expensive forms of energy.”

dcole@amherstdaily.com

 

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Amherst, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Al
    June 26, 2012 - 21:33

    I read that Keith Hunter thinks the turbines are beautiful. I wonder what Mr. Hunter would think if Sprott Power placed twenty or thirty in his back yard. Once again residents and tax payers of Amherst wake up Keith Hunter and his band of not so merry men are shoving this in our faces for the sake of the mighty tax dollar.Lets hope when the dust settles that our property values do not drop, our current mayor,council and their management team seam to be completely oblivoius,or are afraid to act.I could go on but why.

  • sarlyne
    June 26, 2012 - 10:07

    Yes, the best is yet to come. NSP has less overhead by not buying coal and needing less employee's to maintain. Sprott is responsible for maintenance on the windmills. After the Utility And Review Board say's we cant give you any more increases i'm thinking NSP will start lowering the Peak Power lower limit which is at 3250kWh now, anything under this consumption you pay 0.1207 over that you pay 0.1333 lets say they lower the limit to 2400kWh as an example and start charging people the higher rate over that. They could probably get this approved by the Utility Review Board no problem as a work around rather then increase it outright the public would not see the hidden increase or understand it (it's all in the numbers) IMO. And don't forget the Energy Efficiency Program charge on your bill of $18.34 LOL

  • Realistic
    June 26, 2012 - 06:54

    It's not the Ontario company that's screwing Nova Scotians over, it's the top-heavy Nova Scotia company that's doing that.

  • Scratch My Back
    June 26, 2012 - 06:04

    Yes, what a glorius event. The best is yet to come. Imagine someday being able to look out most any window in Amherst and see these amazing structures twirling in the wind. Sure the power generated doesnt help the Amherst area in reduced power rates but who cares we can still look at them, isnt that enough !!

  • ROB
    June 25, 2012 - 20:02

    so..$61,000,000/10000homes = $6100/home..... ok, I need another 9999 homeowners willing to put up $6100 and we have power...:)..no nsp...yes, I know, maintenance costs,etc..but makes you think about it, doesn't it... of course, it would probably not be permitted due to government restrictions

  • sarlyne
    June 25, 2012 - 15:45

    ” the premier said. “Power rates are continuing to climb and more Nova Scotians are struggling to pay their power bills. One of the first things we did when we came to office was to remove the HST from home energy... But raised the rates per KW, that raised our power rates 38% to date, what a moron! Thanks for letting an ONTARIO company screw the Nova Scotians over. 5 cents a KW to Sprott 8 cents to NSP. Why didn't NSP just purchase there own windmills? 31.5 Mw / 1000 = 31500Kw 31500Kw Per Hr ( X ) 24 Hr = 756000 Kw 756000 Kw (X) .05 cents = $37800 $37800 (X) 365 Days = $13,797,000 Million per year to Sprott . NSP incures no cost to produce the power, does not buy any coal...no overhead!

  • conversion smersion
    June 25, 2012 - 15:34

    ''An employee of Sprott Power stands atop of 300-metre wind turbine near Amherst.'' Methinks you meant to say a 300 foot wind turbine... 300 metres is 984 feet... which is a tad higher than the ones out on the marsh. The highest point on mainland Nova Scotia is just over 1000 feet above sea level !

  • Doug
    June 25, 2012 - 15:09

    Enough power to run 10,000 homes, just the population of Amherst. I wonder when our rates are going to fall or are we just paying to have these built, as the Premier says rates just keep going up and up. I hope everyone remembers this come election time.