First community-owned wind turbine creates power
Nova Scotia's first community-owned wind turbine began producing power over the weekend on Spiddle Hill in the Tatamagouche area.
The power now being generated is fed into a nearby Nova Scotia Power substation.
"The power is entering the local distribution system for Tatamagouche so it will run from Earltown all the way to Tatamagouche. The amount of power it will produce over a year on average is about 300 homes worth," said David Swan, of the Cumberland-Colchester Windfield.
"These mountains have a resource and we are discovering that and we don't have to cut everything down. We can generate electricity and create wealth in other ways locally."
Local investors put up their own money to make the $2 million project a reality.
"We feel just a sense of gratification that so many people in our area feel themselves a part of this project," David Stevenson, of Cumberland-Colchester Windfield, said.
Virginia Wilson, one of those investors, dropped by Thursday to have a look at the turbine.
"It's awesome, just totally awesome," she said.
The Spiddle Hill wind turbine may be the province's first community-owned wind turbine, but it won't be the only one for long.
Sharon Henderson heads a group in Pictou Antigonish that's close to building their own turbine.
"We're hoping that within the next year we will have a wind turbine the same size — an E-53, 800 kw — operating at Avondale on Browns Mountain, Pictou County," she said.
Henderson said groups like hers are excited by the success of the Colchester-Cumberland group. Both groups say it keeps investment and jobs in Nova Scotia.
"This belongs to us," Stevenson said. "We are not sending money off to Toronto for and investment somewhere else. The investment's made right here."
"It's a great incentive for Nova Scotians to realize that this can be done and that their investment money can stay in Nova Scotia and work in Nova Scotia," she said.
Planning is already underway for a second turbine on Spiddle Hill.