The Dorchester skyline could soon sport more than the lone wind turbine that was installed several years ago, pictured above. Representatives with Lahave Renewables have approached council with a proposed Fairfield Wind Project.
DORCHESTER, NB – The village of Dorchester has been asked to support the construction of a wind farm adjacent to its municipal boundaries.
At last week’s regular monthly meeting, representatives of Lahave Renewables addressed the village council with regards to the proposed Fairfield Wind Project. Keith Towse, CEO of Community Wind Farms Inc., a partner in the proposed wind project, noted that Lahave Renewables has been in existence since 2004, and since that time has gained extensive experience through participation in numerous wind projects across North America.
“We’re working with a number of partners across Canada, primarily First Nation partners…we find First Nations to be excellent partners, who are aware of their responsibilities to the environment and to Mother Earth. We’re working in Saskatchewan and Indian Island (Kent County) in New Brunswick on a wind project close to there, Nova Scotia, Ontario as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador. We’re very pleased to be able to come and make a presentation about possible wind development we’re exploring in the area around Dorchester,” he said.
One of the main partners in the project, Juwi (pronounced U-V) Holding AG is a company based in Germany which builds renewable power supply facilities.
“Juwi has installed over two gigawatts of wind (turbines) since it was established in 1996. To give you an idea of how much that is; one of the big turbines on the Amherst marsh is about two megawatts. That’s about 1000 of those turbines, worldwide that juwi has constructed,” Towes said.
He explained that Lahave Renewables would be the local development partner of juwi and Towes and local consultant Steve Epworth of Sackville would handle all of the local work and community relations.
He noted that the company would bring in experts to carry out the various aspects of the planning, development and construction of the proposed wind project.
Towes added that his company has had some discussions with the New Brunswick government concerning a wind project in the area.
“We understand they are in the process of developing a program called ‘Community Wind’ that’s actually been talked about for sometime. They expect that program to be an RFP – request for proposals, a competitive tendering process - which would be restricted to projects which are substantially owned by either First Nations communities or by municipalities, hence the reason why we’re talking with you today…”, he explained.
He added that should the village of Dorchester be interested in taking part in such a wind project Lahave would work with the municipality to whatever extent the village may choose.
“We would see that involving local businesses in the construction of the project would be a critical part…to ensure that as many of the benefits as possible of the project stay in the community. We want the wind farm to be good neighbours,” he said.
Councillor Kim McLeod asked what the potential effects would be with regards to wildlife should the proposed wind project be completed.
“I’ll be brutally honest, they will kill some birds…but the company that carried out studies on that… there have been no significant issues identified with it,” he said.
Towes noted that the development of a proposed Fairfield Wind Project is currently in the very early stages, with extensive work and consultation yet to be carried out before any definite construction plans could be launched.