Those who were opposed to a wind-energy project operating in the Comeau’s Hill/Little River area will be able to sleep a little easier now.
Anaia Global Renewable Energies, the company that submitted a project proposal to be considered for tender by the province, did not make the cut.
Energy Minister Charlie Parker announced the three commercial-scale wind-energy projects that have been selected on Thursday afternoon. The new wind farms in Lunenburg and Guysborough counties will help “stabilize electricity prices in Nova Scotia and benefit the environment.”
"These large wind projects will result in $200 million in private sector investments that will, in turn, help us meet our cleaner energy agenda," said Parker.
The projects announced by the province's renewable electricity administrator, Power Advisory, are: a 78 megawatt South Canoe Wind Project between Chester and Windsor, led by Oxford Frozen Foods; a 24 megawatt South Canoe Wind Project in Lunenburg County, led by Minas Paper Pulp and Power; and a 13.8 megawatt Sable Wind Project near Canso, led by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough.
John Dalton is the independent administrator appointed by the province to call for bids, evaluate bid submissions and select winning projects based on which products provided the best value for ratepayers.
He commented briefly on Anaia Global’s proposal.
“There were some issues with their proposal which ultimately caused it not to be accepted,” he said.
Nineteen proposals were received in response to the RFP offering, about eight times the procurement target of a minimum of 300 GWh of renewable energy, indicating that the process was highly competitive.
The selected projects represented the most cost-effective offers. Their average purchase price was in the mid-$70s per MWh, lower than those in the 2007 call for bids. Nova Scotia Power is a minority investor in each of the projects.
Collectively, these projects are expected to bring total wind energy close to the 500 MW wind threshold by 2015. This is near the technical limit of the amount that can be integrated into the province's electricity grid, according to the 2008 Nova Scotia Wind Integration Study by Hatch Energy.
Consequently, the province does not expect to issue more request for proposals for large-scale wind projects in the near future.
The three large-wind projects will help the province reach its renewable energy plan target of 25 per cent of the province's electricity needs met by renewable sources by 2015. The province also committed to achieving a 40 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020.
Anaia Global announced its interest in Yarmouth County last year and held several public meetings at the Wedgeport Fire Hall before submitting its proposal.
However, when residents in the Comeau’s Hill/Little River area learned the wind turbines would be erected primarily in their area, many objected.
They voiced their concerns, many of them heatedly, during a July 12 meeting at a community hall in Comeau’s Hill.
A special meeting of council was held July 19 during which the Municipality of Argyle proposed a new setback requirement of 1,000 metres from homes.
Anaia Global estimated a workforce of 100 would be required for the two-year construction phase of its proposed $100-million project. The project would incorporate 17 (3MW) to 25 (2 MW) wind turbines that would generate 45 to 50 megawatts of power.
Business development officer Rodrigo Moura responded Thursday afternoon to an email from the Vanguard concerning the loss of the tender.
“Unfortunately our project was not one of the selected ones. We will spend the next few weeks analyzing the future of this project and should be able to tell you a more detailed plan by the end of the summer/early fall.”