Wind turbines a concern for farmers

Kayla Fraser
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Wind turbines are raising questions from residents in Pictou County.


One concern is that they don’t know any major details about the impending turbines.

Elwood Fraser has 10 Percheron horses and is worried about the noise emitted from turbines.

“I am most definitely concerned.”

He exercises his horses on the road that will lead to the turbines and he said the noise might spook the horses.

He said the government should be responsible for finding suitable locations.

“They should be looking for spots for these, not one person.”

His brother, county councillor Leonard Fraser, is trying to help the community.

“Just because the councillor is my brother, doesn’t mean I should keep my mouth shut.”

Leonard Fraser would like to see the bylaw changed as well.

The bylaw currently says a wind turbine can go within 600 metres of a home.

Concerned people are calling for a bylaw to amend the setback of turbines from residences to be increased to 1,500 metres.

In order for the bylaw to change, council must have eight votes out of 14, Leonard Fraser said.

“Everybody has got to support that.”

He said things aren’t always easily changed.

In regard to wind turbines, he said they have the benefit of renewable energy.

“I think it’s great for people who want green energy, but not great for the people who are upset.”

Some say turbines cause major health issues, but wind energy entrepreneur Reuben Burge said there are mainly no health risks linked to wind turbines.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a health concern, it’s a misunderstanding.”

As the president of Affinity Renewables, he operates the Dalhousie Mountain Wind Farm, and said the fear and uncertainty is what’s making people so skeptical, he said.

“It may be an annoyance to people, but it’s not a health concern.”

As for residential living, he said people are still buying and building around the area.

He said his parents live about 350 metres away from a turbine and have not experienced any health issues or noise complaints.

Burge has building permits and an approved environmental assessment from the government that will allow him to build three 1.68 MW wind turbines on privately owned land, which he wants to start building in June 2015. 

Organizations: Dalhousie Mountain Wind Farm

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Recent comments

  • Trenton
    April 07, 2014 - 20:04

    We all get exposed to the death pouring out the stacks of the powerplant... But we cant spook the horses. You wont eliminate coal but every bit we reduce it might translate to less cancer and respiratory ailments for the county. I understand that nobody likes anything in there own back yard but I have a thermal generating station in my backyard. Take one for the team.

  • dumbfounded
    April 05, 2014 - 16:33

    well, I don't know why anyone would expect a cut power bill- no one ever said they were cheap, in fact everyone knows they are more expensive than other energy such as coal- but our politicians have decided to push coal out, so we can be green- politicians should investigate the impact of Nova Scotia going green and adding cost to NS residents and companies, as compared the increase in emissions other countries are adding - their financial situation is improving and ours is going down the drain- so we can be green bankrupt, and they will become the places to live and work, thank you politicians - there is still time to get the economy going, and in a few years continue the slow changeover to green, but please stop raising costs to taxpayers, watching companies like the local power company raise prices, and not telling the people that a lot of the reason for the size of the increases is because you the politicians are pushing them to go or buy green- all on the taxpayer nickel-

  • Frackman
    April 05, 2014 - 16:07

    This is why we should be developing the onshore natural gas industry. Wind power has Its place but really is ineefficent and ugly on the landscape. A gas rig is in for a couple of months and once in production can be hidden for view very easily. Natural Gas is also the most efficient and reliable means of producting electricity. All the frackivists lie continueously about water use in fracking. The renewable industry is what the freebies want despite it being an utter failure in their nirvana Germany. Germany is now burning more coal ,oil and Natural gas then ever.. Reason the sun goes down and the wind manytimes blows too little or too much for wind turbines .

    • Phillip Ontakos
      April 07, 2014 - 19:03

      Until the gas runs out...

  • mike
    April 05, 2014 - 11:40

    Last summer my wife and I toured southern Alberta and saw hundreds of windmills. There's actually two companies vying for space and the units are physically different, one rotates clockwise, the other, counterclockwise. Directly below them in endless grazing fields are cattle, sheep and bison, none of which were any worse for wear. The farmers were laughing all the way to the bank. It's time for Nova Scotia to come out of the stone age thinking and get with this green resource. People need to stop complaining about progress. The size of this province and it's topography does not allow for a 1500 meter buffer just to satisfy the uninformed. If I had acerage, I'b knocking on these guys door for leasing opportunities.

  • hank spitball
    April 05, 2014 - 07:53

    By Reuben Burge's own statement his own parent live approximately 350 meters from a wind turbine, there following the bylaw in existence either the turbine or house has to be moved.

  • just thinking
    April 04, 2014 - 20:44

    not pretty to look at and I never seen a cut in my power bill from them and likely never will in my life time

  • Laura Griffin
    April 04, 2014 - 18:51

    Well of course the snake oil wind salesman is going to say there's no health effects. Isn't that what cigarette ads said 80 years ago also? If someone has a vested financial interest in pushing an agenda, they are the last person you should be going to for information. There is more than ample studies on the internet from: the Acoustical Society of America; Dr. Alec Salt, Professor of Otolaryngology at Washington University; Mark Duchamp, President of the World Council for Nature; UCLA; Dr. Ross McKittrick, etc. Lots and lots of information out there. You just have to click your mouse and there it is.

    • Tizzle
      April 05, 2014 - 10:14

      - Laura I decided I'd go and check out one of your sources to see the validity. To quote Dr. Alec Salt when speaking about the possibility of wind turbines affecting human health, "However, the degree to which each phenomenon occurs in humans following prolonged exposure to the infrasound from wind turbines has not yet been demonstrated." - Your own source is stating that there isn't conclusive evidence, only that there is a possibility and that further studies are needed.

    • mark
      April 05, 2014 - 22:38

      well said way better choice words I was going to try and say. thanksgrrrrr