Public meeting about wind turbines for Long Island

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Wind turbines

A wind turbine company has purchased land on Long Island with the intention of installing at least two 50-kilowatt turbines there.

Bruce Thompson, president of Blue Sky Electricity Cooperative, is holding a public meeting in Tiverton to talk with Islanders about his plan.

“I can’t say I’ve spoken to everyone but I’m getting to meet people,” he told the Courier on Tuesday, June 3. “I’m a Nova Scotian who’s going to be here for 20 years, I hope a lot longer, and I want this to be a success. I think these will be examples of good clean energy projects that will be of a benefit to the community.”

Thompson would like to erect as many as six of the small turbines on a property just west of Tiverton.

He plans to use the E-3120 turbines; they have a blade length of 9 metres or 30 feet and sit on towers between 30 and 40 metres (100 and 140 feet) tall.

By comparison the industrial-size turbines above Gulliver’s Cove have blade lengths of 38 metres (126 feet) and a hub height of 80 metres (262 feet).

Thompson, who lives in Halifax, chose Long Island after looking at the Nova Scotia Wind Atlas and determining the island, and all of Digby Neck, has a “very good wind resource.”

He says he was also encouraged by the Municipality’s support for renewable energy projects.

He also looked for close access to three-phase power and good set back from the nearest community.

The closest houses to the property he bought last November are 650 metres away. Thompson says he hasn’t spoken to the residents there but hopes to soon.

“It’s really important to me that these are well sited,” he said. “I’m very open and if someone has an issue, I want to talk through things in a real measured way.”

Thompson says a group of Italians are investing in the project but he is also looking for 25 “community members” for the cooperative—the members will invest in the project and receive a dividend every year for the twenty years of the project.

“If we find 25 people on the island who see an opportunity and want to participate, that would be fantastic,” he said.

Community, however, could include anyone in the District of Digby.

With the community investment and the small turbines, the Blue Sky Electricity Cooperative would qualify as a small wind Nova Scotia Community Feed in Tariff project which means they could sell their electricity into the grid for 49.9 cents a kilowatt hour.

Nova Scotia Power sells electricity to residential customers for about 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour—the pricing subsidy is intended to encourage investment, development and innovation in the renewable energy sector and support small local projects.

The community meeting will be held at the Tiverton Community Hall on Tuesday, June 11 and starts at 7 p.m.

“I hope everyone can come out and learn first-hand about what is planned, ask any question they have, and we’ll address any concerns that arise if they do,” said Thompson. “I’m confident of the merits of the project and that’s why I want people to get as much information as possible.”

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Nova Scotia Wind Atlas, Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Long Island, Tiverton, Halifax Digby

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  • Daniel St Onge
    June 06, 2014 - 11:15

    Cool! Got to have your own power source for the zombie apocalypse!