More blades in the air raise some problems

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To the editor,

All too often I am reading about another wind power development proposal going to the public for promotion, information and investment.

With the quelling of large scale developments reduced to South Canoe, in a 6,000-hectare area between Chester and Windsor, and Sable Wind in Guysborough, the public was led to expect no more big wind projects in Nova Scotia due to grid capacity at near maximum.

It appears there is room for more if Community-Based Feed-in Tariff sites will be producing it!

One that interests me is the MacLellans Brook proposed project, now in the Environmental Assessment stage. Watt Wind Energy is formulating a set of four towers in the area close to small villages and towns in Pictou County. These towers will be 117 to 144 metres high. Yet this is considered a small-scale development open for COMFIT designation, i.e. not supported by government funds and open to having capital raised by local investors. The problems show up on a number of fronts.

Noise levels are determined by topography, air corridors and other factors. Mandates for setbacks are not a sure thing. How is the electricity from this and the many other COMFIT projects to fit within the grid if the capacity is so near full? Where is the evidence that any C02 emissions will be cut by these projects? Who is it that must pay the bill for the power produced by these projects? With COMFIT (wind section) electricity costing 3.5 times the current market rate for product, who is propping up investors’ returns? I see this as one neighbour’s gain for another neighbour’s loss. Power needs are not frills.  

Wind energy production has flown into our lives on the big blowing banner of GREEN. Yet as Professor James Lovelock, known for inventing the Gaia theory and founder of the Green Party, recently wrote:  “We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need to take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilization.”

Alice R Lees


Organizations: Green Party

Geographic location: South Canoe, Chester, Windsor Guysborough Nova Scotia Pictou County Easter Island

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