NS: Shear Wind Energy faces fight with environmental group

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By The New Glasgow News

Eco Awareness is opposing the wind company's bid for a power purchase agreement to place 26 to 34 new turbines in a part of Pictou County they say is frequented by tourists.

[GLEN DHU SOUTH, NS] — The possibility of 26 to 34 new industrial turbines in the Marshy Hope area isn’t sitting well with an environmental group in the region.

Eco Awareness is opposing Shear Wind Energy’s bid for a power purchase agreement to place the turbines in a part of the county they say is frequented by tourists. The site of the proposed Glen Dhu South industrial wind power plant straddles Highway 104 through the Marshy Hope area, an area given the rare rating of “very high” for scenic quality value by the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History.

That beauty will be destroyed if the province approves the turbine project which in turn could hurt the tourism industry, claims Eco Awareness President, Susan Overmyer.

“If this project is awarded a Power Purchase Agreement by Renewable Energy Administrator John Dalton it will show a callus disregard for what makes Nova Scotia so unique,” Overmyer said. “Destroying this distinctive, spectacular scenic corridor is not renewable.”

The Eco Awareness group also opposed the construction of turbines that were placed on Brown’s Mountain. She’s hopes that the province takes into account that the Merigomish area already has the largest wind farm in the province.

“We kind of feel enough is enough for our area,” she said.

She said their group doesn’t believe the wind turbines are doing as much they’re reported to do for the environment either. Studies have shown they can negatively impact wildlife, particularly birds. The projects also require clearing large amounts of land and pouring concrete.

“It really creates kind of a waste land,” she said. “We have to look very carefully if we’re going to be putting these things up. We don’t want to harm wildlife.”

Dalton will be announcing his decision to winning bidders for power purchase agreements on July 19. Overmyer said she expects the decision to be made public 10 days later.

“We’ll have a tense waiting period,” she said.

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