Wind turbines a concern for farmers

Kayla Fraser amacinnis@ngnews.ca
Published on April 4, 2014

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.