Parker Mountain Wind Turbine

Risks & Benefits to the Parker’s Cove & Annapolis Royal community

Scotian Windfields has declared that the Parker Mountain Wind Turbine project will:

  • provide locally-produced and locally-used power
  • economically benefit our community
  • be owned by the community


Locally produced and locally used power?


This power is sold to NS Power and goes into their distribution grid. It is then resold to consumers. Does it provide our neighbourhood with cheaper or improved access to power? How do we know we will get all of that power locally? Exactly how much power will this turbine produce?


Economically benefit our Community?

Community Benefits:

  • Job creation:  The project will create some short term local labour jobs.  However, much of the construction requires expertise not available locally.  Once built, it will require periodic checks by an employee, and general road maintenance.  We haven't heard how many short- and long-term jobs will be created.
  • Revenue for supplies and services:  Local companies can provide general construction materials.  The turbines are not made locally.
  • Rental income:  Only the owners of the land where the turbine is sited will receive rental income (about $1000/month)
  • Tax income:  The County will likely get relatively little.  Perhaps about $12,000/year.  Annapolis County had expected $150,000/year from the defunct Hampton Mountain wind farm – that project was 12 times larger. 
  • Community Donation:  Scotian Windfields has committed to donating 1% of its gross project revenue to the community for a community activity or cause.  This is an appreciated commitment, but it is unclear which community receives the funding?  Annapolis Royal? Parker’s Cove?  Annapolis County?  How much money would this be? Who decides who gets the money and how it is spent?
  • Profits from energy sales will go to the company and its investors. Only if investors live locally will profits be returned (to them) locally.

 

Community Risks

  • Once the infrastructure is in place for one turbine, how do we know that more turbines will be built, creating a wind farm.
  • Major sectors of our economy such as tourism and property sales are very dependent on the North Mountain viewscape which symbolizes our rural, historic and scenic character. The Annapolis County logo is "Naturally Rooted"!   Is this development sympathetic to our economy and character?
  • Loss of property value. In England, a recent study  showed that large scale, industrial wind turbines lower property values in areas close to the turbines and can lead to lowered property values which can lead to lowered assessments with less taxes for municipal government. A Boston Globe article on March 6, 2013, supports this conclusion based on Massachusetts sales with 2 miles of an industrial wind turbine.
  • A decommissioning surety (security) bond is not a requirement for wind turbines in our county.  If the  company doesn't decommission the turbine and site (dismantle it at the end of its useful life), the county will have to do it, which will cost the taxpayers.  Decomissioning can cost about $100,000 for one turbine. See: www.decommbond.webs.com
  • Health issues.  The fact is, there has not been sufficient clinical studies to prove or disprove the health problems claimed worldwide by people living close to wind farms.  The Canadian Government is presently doing a comprehensive study on this issue. Until this and other study results are available, it is prudent to wait.

 

Be owned by the community?

 

Which community? Community Economic Development Investment Funds ( CEDIF ) are NS government approved funds where the public can invest in community projects. You may think that the community in "community-owned" for this project refers to Parkers Cove-Annapolis Royal & area or even  Annapolis County. This is not the case.  The developers are  Scotian Wind, Inc (CEDIF),  Scotian Windfields, Inc. and WEB Energy. Only 25 investors from all of Annapolis County are required to be able to call this project "community owned". Do any of these companies truly represent our local community?

 

Scotian Windfields believes in excellence in corporate social responsibility, accountability, and reporting

 

Their website document “Parker Mountain Wind Energy Project” provides some excellent information.  It talks about dispelling the myths surrounding wind turbines, but it don’t provide objective and comprehensive reporting, and doesn't address many valid concerns about health, property values, and economic burdens borne by the community.  Is this the best they can do?