Paul Pynn, P. Eng., one of the founders of Watts Wind Energy, talks about the Barrington Wind Project during public hearing last Thursday night. Kathy Johnson photo
by Kathy Johnson
A proposed wind turbine project for the backwoods of Atwood’s Brook could be a go by this fall, once a development agreement between Watts Wind II Limited Partnership, local landowners and the Municipality of Barrington is finalized.
The Municipality’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) is recommending the development agreement be approved, following a public hearing on the project last Thursday (Aug. 15).
The $14 million, 3.2 megawatt Barrington Wind Project calls for the construction of two 80 metre wind turbines on property located between the former CNR railway line and the old Wireless Road. The property is being leased from local landowners.
“The energy produced here will be consumed here,” project proponent Paul Pynn, P. Eng., one of the founders of Watts Wind Energy Inc., told those gathered at the public hearing.
“There will also be local tax benefits and jobs,” said Pynn, and where the project is being developed under the provincial COMFIT (Community Feed-in Tariff) program, the opportunity is there for local investment. “Local ownership is important to us,” he said.
The project has undergone a full environmental impact assessment, receiving the provincial stamp of approval earlier this year. The development agreement is the last regulatory hurdle before the project can proceed.
If municipal council accepts the recommendation from the PAC, one more public hearing will be held before the development agreement is finalized. It is expected that municipal council will consider the recommendation from the PAC at the Aug. 26 meeting.
“We’d like to start upgrading the road this fall,” said Pynn, adding he wouldn’t expect the turbines to be installed until next spring. In the meantime the company is continuing to do early stager development, such as collecting meteorological data.
The power produced by the turbines, enough for about 800 homes, will be fed directly into the distribution lines via a small transformer at the base of the turbine, said Pynn. The turbines will be located approximately 1.5 kilometres inland from highway 3 in Atwood’s Brook; just over one kilometre away from the nearest home.