Way to windmills

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Way to windmills

AMHERST – Those who guessed a new road under construction behind Athol Forestry on Highway 2 in Fort Lawrence is related to the Sprott Power wind turbine project are correct.

“It’s a right-of-way across several parcels of land,” said Penny Henneberry, director of planning and development for the Municipality of Cumberland County.

Trucks laden with building materials for the 15-turbine project can be very long. Henneberry said the blades for the wind turbines now under construction can be up to 50 metres in length. The ROW is being built so vehicles can make the turn.

The first of the towers is being manufactured at the DSTN facility in Trenton, N.S., and company officials expect they will begin making their way to Amherst this month.

One of the pieces of land crossed is owned by the municipality.

Sprott Power has arranged to lease that crossing for $1 from the county. The wind turbine owners will be held liable for any damages that may occur, according to Henneberry, and the right-of-way is being built at their expense.

“I’m not sure of the route that they are going to take (to bring in windmill sections)”, said Henneberry. The bases for the tall structures are being built “as we speak.”

At least one local contractor is benefiting from the right of way construction.

“We’re just supplying material,” said Richard Beal, owner of Sackville-based Beal & Inch. The New Brunswick company is providing sandstone to the site. Beal declined to provide more detail.

Jeff Jenner CEO of the Sprott Power Corporation was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

The project, announced in June, is expected to cost $61 million and produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes as early as the first quarter of 2012. The turbines are expected to generate about 31.5 megawatts of power.

Organizations: Sprott Power, Athol Forestry on Highway 2

Geographic location: AMHERST, Fort Lawrence, Cumberland County Trenton New Brunswick

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