Chester approves Nova Scotia's largest wind farm
Controversial South Canoe Wind Project divides community
Municipal councillors in Nova Scotia's Lunenburg County have approved a controversial, $200-million wind farm that will be largest in the province when it goes on the grid in 2015.
The Municipality of the District of Chester approved the South Canoe Wind Project on Thursday after hundreds of people attended heated public meetings on the project, which was criticized for its proximity to residences.
"They've moved the boundaries westward, which puts them closer to my home," said Greg Broome, who lives approximately five kilometres from the proposed South Canoe site.
"I think the province needs to step in and say lets put a moratorium on these things."
The South Canoe Wind Project — a joint venture between Nova Scotia Power, Oxford Frozen Foods and Minas Basin Pulp and Power — includes 34 wind turbines between Vaughan and New Russell that are expected to provide 102 megawatts of electricity in the area.
The project's website said that's enough to power about 32,000 homes.
The wind farm is expected to stretch across almost 3,000 hectares and begin producing power late next year.
Tina Connors, who was the only councillor in the Municipality of the District of Chester to vote against moving the wind project forward, said she spoke with the developers after Thursday's 6-1 decision.
"We've agreed that we will move forward," she told CBC News.
"I told them that they haven't seen the last of me because certainly, my job is to represent the community."
Opponents of the project have 21 days to appeal the decision through the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
'This project sets a good precedent'
Ben Wiper, a business owner in Chester, said he's been behind the project every step of the way because it will be good for the local economy will show the municipality is open for business.
"Our municipality now has a steady, reliable source of tax revenue for generations," he said.
"I also like that it's private business."
The South Canoe project has already received environmental approval and is part of the province's plan to have 40 per cent of power generated from renewable sources by 2020.
"We're on coal, we're on oil, we got to get off that stuff," said Ryan Cameron, a member of the South Canoe Wind Farm Community Liaison Committee.
"This project sets a good precedent."
Allen Webber, the warden of the Municipality of the District of Chester, acknowledged the proposal had created division in the community.
"This has been an emotional issue for all concerned and there was no real way to come out of it with 100 per cent of the community behind you, it was going to be split," he said.
"The decision has been made, we have to move forward and do our best to bring the community back together."
With files from The Canadian Press