The next step for a community wind turbine project in Wedgeport will be to measure wind speeds and perform more electrical analysis, says Daniel Roscoe, chief operating officer for Scotian WindFields Inc.
“The proposed capacity of the turbine we expect to put on site is just under two megawatts,” he said.
The tower is projected to be approximately 80 metres high, with each blade measuring about 45 metres in length.
The turbine will produce enough electricity to power 500-600 homes, and 100 per cent of the energy will be consumed in the Yarmouth/Wedgeport region.
Scotian WindFields and its partners were amongst others approved recently for Community-Feed-in Tariff (ComFIT) approvals for renewable energy projects.
Other approved projects are located in Spiddle Hill, Bayswater, Cheticamp and North Preston. These projects are now able to proceed to the next stage of development.
The Wedgeport project is located between Upper Wedgeport and Little River Harbour, just off Black Pond Road.
Scotian WindFields is in the early stages of the multi-year project and is planning to collect data about the nature of the wind regime using a meteorological tower on the site. The study will provide information about the characteristics of the wind and properly site the turbine.
The nearest large wind turbines to Wedgeport are located at Pubnico Point Wind Farm, near Lower West Pubnico. These turbines are about the same height and size as the turbine that Scotian WindFields intends to install near Wedgeport and have been in operation since 2005.
More than 800 Nova Scotian families share in ownership of Scotian WindFields. The company has committed to donate one per cent of the revenue from each project to the surrounding community for its chosen community activity or cause. This dividend could be as much as $10,000 annually and could be used for school programs, local scholarships, community recreation programs or facilities. The use of proceeds is up to the community to decide.
The provincial government has established clear targets for clean energy: 25 per cent of electricity is to be renewable by 2015, with a goal of 40 per cent by 2050.
The ComFIT program is designed to help the province meet that goal. In order for projects to be eligible, at least 25 citizens from the county in which the turbine will be installed must invest in it.
The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through the ComFIT, which provides eligible groups an established price per kilowatt-hour for projects producing electricity from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river tidal developments.
Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities, community economic development funds and not-for-profit groups.
Roscoe says public meetings about the Wedgeport project will be held in the near future and that it is likely the turbine will be installed in 2013.