Canada - Nova Scotia loosens grip on wind-power rules

Nova Scotia municipalities now have more power to mould plans for wind turbines in their communities, the Energy Department says. Instead of blanket rules for the entire province, each area applying for wind-energy projects can now create specific bylaws based on models taken from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Many residents are concerned about the size, appearance and noise of the turbines, said Peggy Crawford, spokeswoman for the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

The new regulations will leave room for communities to create solutions that work best for each area. "People have an issue around the visuals of turbines," said Crawford. "They could choose to put up a vegetative barrier (to hide the turbine) or they might not want to let advertising on the side of it." She said noise from the structures could also be reduced by moving them a greater distance from property lines.

The government carries out environmental assessments for any wind project of two megawatts of power or more. As well as sound level and appearance, the assessments take into account the number and placement of turbines, impacts on local wildlife and landscape. Nova Scotia aims to supply 20 per cent of its electricity through wind energy by 2013, through the use of about 250 turbines. There are 40 turbines in place today.

"We knew Nova Scotians want green energy," Energy Department spokesman Matt Lumley said. It's not just about green, but it's about protecting our energy supply in the future. The more we can localize our power, the better off we are."
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
wind energy, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbine, rotorblade, offshore, onshore

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